100/100 Days of Seeds of Light

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100/100 #100daysofseedsoflight ✨
And that’s a wrap! 100 Days of Seeds of Light. ✨
This is my third time through #the100dayproject and it has changed me, over 3 years and over the last 100 days. ✨
I set out to sow seeds of light, and I hope I’ve touched some of you along the way. ✨
I’m a little sad to see it end. ✨
Cheers to love and light, my friends! xo.

97/100 Days of Seeds of Light

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Day 97/100 #100daysofseedsoflight ✨
{Sunday’s post}

How is it that 100 days can feel like just the beginning? There is still so much to explore with these seed paintings - bigger seeds, smaller seeds, what if the seeds are filled with patterns, what if they were monochromatic, what if it was more about value than color, what if what if what if what if? And what am I going to do with myself when this project is over ‪in 3 days‬? Will I continue to paint seeds? Will I continue to paint daily? I’m ruminating. And savoring. I hate to see this 100 days come to a close - and I’m relieved at the same time.

96/100 Days of Seeds of Light

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Day 96/100 #100daysofseedsoflight ✨
{Saturday’s post}

I’m listening to Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations Podcast, her conversation with Wayne Dyer. Some time around minute 1 and change, she’s casually talking about despairing at having only one day left in Hawaii, and she recounts saying to herself, “You can choose another thought.”

Yes you can. Yes I can. Yes we all can. We can choose another thought.

95/100 Days of Seeds of Light

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Day 95/100 #100daysofseedsoflight ✨
{Friday’s post}

I haven’t talked about the paintings in awhile. And a friend asked to see the whole set recently, so this morning we sorted through them together. It’s got me thinking. ✨
I am easily seduced by the pretty pleasing colors and the uniformity of the recent pieces, and the way they flow together (if you scroll down in my feed you’ll see that the series formed a rainbow for awhile there). I love that. I find it pleasing, also the set that were the colors of the ocean landscapes - I love those too. And I still find myself drawn to some of the earlier seed paintings, to the odd ones especially, to the paintings that don’t make the same kind of sense, to the strange bits and the surprises. ✨
There’s a tension there - on one hand, I like what’s pretty and pleasing, and on the other hand I like what’s a little odd. I struggle with this tension in my work regularly, so I shouldn’t be surprised to find it here. ✨
What does it mean? I always want to know what it means. And where is it going? I always want to know where it’s going. In this case I don’t, and I can’t. ✨
Ninety five days down, five to go.

94/100 Days of Seeds of Light

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Day 94/100 #100daysofseedsoflight

We’ve reached the point in this project where the days are quickly ticking away and suddenly I have SO MUCH MORE TO SAY!

For starters, this project isn’t all about gratitude. I THOUGHT about making this project all about gratitude - I considered calling it 100 Days of Seeds of Gratitude - but it is more than that. And maybe it feels like I’ve only been talking about gratitude lately?

At its very essence, this project is all about perspective. It’s about looking for goodness in the midst of the muck. ✨
We all have muck. Every day, every week, every month, every year, we have muck. This practice is about not getting sucked into the muck, about not getting stuck there. It is about looking for light within the muck. And sometimes that light is just the tiniest glimmer, which is why I call it a seed.

Today was a little bit muck-y for me. Not up-to-your-eyeballs-in-muck, but seeped-in-through-my-shoes muck, and it is very tempting to sink down into the slimy-ness of it. But I am looking for the glimmers - for the seeds of light. The littlest things remind me that it won’t always be muck-y. And there is great relief in that.

92/100 Days of Seeds of Light

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Day 92/100 #100daysofseedsoflight

When I said, on Day 91, that my gratitude practice had changed my life, I wasn’t exaggerating.

But I think it has changed my brain, most of all. I imagine little pathways that had previously been dark, were brought stuttering and blinking to life so that my brain is now lit up like fireworks on the 4th of July. I imagine dusty rutted old roads being newly paved to make traffic flow faster and more smoothly. I imagine my brain like an information superhighway, where all information had once been treated equally, there is now an express lane for goodness.

I think these imaginings are supported by the Forbes article I linked to on Day Eightysomething, but the research is secondary because I FEEL the difference.

First and foremost, I see that I am more likely to look for the good in any situation. Reflexively now, I turn a negative (a thought, a situation, an experience) on its head to find the glimmer of good. And I have learned that there will always be a glimmer of good - just like there will always be helpers (thank you Mr. Rogers - and lots of times the helpers and the glimmer are one and the same).

Second, I see that I am able to stem the tide of wallowing. Oftentimes, I’m able to catch myself before I begin to wallow, and on the occasions when I don't, I’m able to pull myself out of the tailspin before I crash and burn. This is huge, and alone would be life changing. ✨
Third - and this one is the icing on the cake or the gravy on the mashed potatoes or the cherry on top of the ice cream sundae - because this is a shared practice, I am lifted up by the gratitudes that other people are sharing with ME. Through the #mygratitudepractice or #tellme3goodthings, through emails with friends, through conversations that turn naturally to gratitude now - seeing the glimmers in other people’s stories helps to shine even more light on the goodness in my own. We are sharing the light with each other, we are lighting each other’s candles - call it what you will, I imagine this is exactly what we are doing: shining light on goodness, which in turn enables that light to spread. 

The farther and the wider the light spreads, the brighter our lives - the brighter the world - will be. I believe this with every fiber of my being.

Want to try it? Send me a DM and I’ll help you get started!

91/100 Days of Seeds of Light

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Day 91/100 #100daysofseedsoflight

My personal gratitude practice is nearly three years old. I started this practice near the end of the summer of 2015, after a particularly difficult few months.

I didn’t actually think a gratitude practice would do anything to help me. I was already a pretty grateful person who tried to see the good in people and in circumstances. But I was coming out of a really challenging period and I was willing to try almost anything to find my way back to the light. I followed the advice from a friend who had a super simple practice - at the end of each day, email 3 friends and share 3 things you’re grateful for. I tried it, and it changed my life. ✨
Nearly every day for the last three years, I have written down 3 things I’m grateful for, and shared them. In the beginning, I shared my 3 things with three friends in a group email - each of us wrote to the group each night. For a long time after that, I shared my 3 things here on Instagram alongside a photograph of light. And more recently, I’m emailing one on one with a few friends each night. ✨
Some days the things I’m grateful for are plentiful and easy to come by, other days I have to dig deep for 3 things. But I do it anyway, even on the hard days - especially on the hard days.

There are two key components to my practice: 1. I make note of 3 (or more) things I am grateful for each day. And 2. I share those things - with a friend, with several friends, with the entire internet, it doesn’t matter, what matters is that I share them. Notice and share. And repeat.

If you are considering starting - or re-starting - a gratitude practice of your own, I would love to encourage you. Send me a DM if you want to talk about it, if you have questions, if you want advice or a cheerleader. I am here, and I am cheering you on.

90/100 Days of Seeds of Light

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Day 90/100 #100daysofseedsoflight ✨
How can it be that there are only 10 days left in this project? Time is such a funny construct, and counting days all the more so. ✨
Tonight I was reminded of this quote from Alice Morse Earle, “Everyday may not be good...but there’s something good in every day.”

87/100 Days of Seeds of Light

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  • Day 87/100 #100daysofseedsoflight ✨
    Blah blah gratitude blah blah light and it feels like the world is burning down. HERE’S THE THING. Despair gets us nowhere, and this is the best way I know to stay afloat. ✨
    Keep on looking for the light. ✨
    When it’s dark, so dark, and the supreme court and family separation and the guns and the earth and poverty and disease and our own personal challenges, we all have them, and family challenges and difficulties in our intimate circles of friends and in our communities and all of it and more and the darkness threatens to overtake us - LOOK FOR THE SEEDS OF LIGHT. ✨
    The tiniest seeds. The sunshine on your face. The pillow beneath your head. The breath going in and out of your body. Teeny teeny tiny things. ✨
    These teeny teeny tiny things ARE seeds of light. Do not lose sight of these seeds. And know that the seeds of light will grow in direct proportion to the amount of attention you give to them. I promise.

    EDITED TO ADD - I have been very careful these last 86 days to not include the details of the darkness in these #100daysofseedsoflight posts. It was intentional - these posts are about the light and I want to leave them unencumbered. And yet it has felt increasingly uncomfortable to not mention the elephants in the room, so today I made an exception. Tomorrow it’s back to business as usual.

85/100 Days of Seeds of Light

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Day 85/100 #100daysofseedsoflight ✨
I couldn’t have imagined on Day 1/100 how much I (we? all of us?) would need seeds of light on Day 85.

Please keep looking for the light. Please please please keep looking for the little bits of goodness that exist in the world around us. ✨
Notice goodness and share what you notice and let these seeds of light lift you, lift your spirits, lift those around you, lift us all.

83/100 Days of Seeds of Light

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Day 83/100 #100daysofseedsoflight

I started reading Janice Kaplan’s “The Gratitude Diaries.” I’m only at Chapter 3 and I’ve got tons of dogeared pages already. The thing is this - the author isn’t saying anything I don’t already know or believe - I KNOW and BELIEVE in the power of gratitude - but she is backing it up with scientific research, which I love.

Here’s one bit that I especially appreciate: “…in both small events and big ones, seeing the good can be a challenge, because a general rule of life is that negative events overshadow positive ones...Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman says ruminating on what went wrong makes evolutionary sense. Our ancestors survived by remembering the one poisonous berry they encountered and telling their friends about it. Describing ten tasty ones didn’t do much good at all.”

Aha! There are so many evolutionary reasons for humans to be alert for and pay attention to the dangers, the negatives, and it helps me to understand why we might be wired that way. It is also exactly why I believe we can re-train our brains to be able to see the good bits, the ten tasty berries.

82/100 Days of Seeds of Light

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Day 82/100 #100daysofseedsoflight ✨

1. A rainy day was the perfect reason to stay inside and have a reset. Related, my cozy sweatshirt. 
2. A late afternoon walk to town in the misty rain and the game I was looking for (Anomia) at the puzzle store. 
3. Leftovers for dinner.

Now you? Will you tell me 3 good things?