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Monday, August 10, 2015

Take A Mental Picture {My Mindful July}

Slow down, take your shoes off, feel the dirt under your feet.
I didn’t blog once through the month of July. Not once.

That’s a first in almost four years. Even writing that sentence took a moment to sink in. Why, you might ask? It’s just a blog. No big deal.

Well, for this Type-A gal, not being able to “do it all” induces anxiety. I really thought I could—rebrand my blog, manage perfect grades in college, work full time, mommy full time, plan a wedding, write creatively, play my guitar and perform out and about, revamp my photography website, appear on the radio, etc.

And then, summer came. I wanted to sit at the beach. I wanted to grow tomatoes. I wanted to ride my bike with my fiancé to the coffee shop and pick out vegetables in the street. Without my Canon strapped to me.

Still, every time I marveled at the beauty in something, found an interesting trinket at the thrift store, or put together a fun secondhand outfit without tweeting, blogging or posting it, I felt a pang of guilt. Maybe even panic. As if I didn’t record this event digitally, it would disappear like a puff of smoke in to the sky.

I know that’s not true. In fact, living consciously and being mindful of my existence as it happens is something I’ve been working on for years, and as author Valerie Alexander says, “Why put a screen between you and your life?” However, in this digitally obsessed world, we need constant reminders to just live—even for a moment.

When it comes to memories, my mother’s stories are getting soft around the edges. Sometimes, she will tell me the same thing twice, or thrice, or…I’ll stop, because I know you’re reading, mom. =) Still, she’s always been a master at slowing down. Bringing a moment to a lull, she would take a “mental snapshot” so she could remember an instant forever on our family vacations, even if I was standing next to her with my trigger finger on the shutter button. The way the cotton sheets smelled off the line; the grooves in the knotty pine lining our family cabin. The shrieks of joy from my son's smiling face as he ran around the yard with popsicle juice streaking down his t-shirt; the pacifying sound of wind on Lake Huron.

Even though I often had a camera around my neck, sometimes I followed her advice, and powered it down, turning my face to the sun. I would close my eyes and relish a moment or two, and promise to keep the memory forever.

I tried to do this as much as possible in July. I still posted pics on Instagram, and I played around on Facebook. But I stopped recording and sharing my life on the blog, and I quit worrying about what I would put together next. I know that things will pick up for me where they left off; I’ll get my new website up, I’ll keep writing and taking pictures, and things will be better than ever. But this summer—before my life takes on massive change in the fall (marriage, graduating from college with my degree in PR)—I’m blogging casually, and enjoying the sunshine. I’ll be taking as many mental snapshots as I can, trying hard to be mindful, and I deeply encourage you to do the same.


Be Present.


I’m including a few pictures below of my life on Instagram as of late! 
Please feel free to follow me!


My lovely girlfriends threw me a darling tea party and bachelorette party! We even had a painting lesson. How fun, right? I'm SO blessed.

I saw Erykah Badu in concert. FINALLY. Mind. Blown. (Recap on that soon.)

I tried layering salads in mason jars. Success!   

          I enjoyed Moscow Mules with  my 
                        toes in the grass.

I achieved a total loss of 18 lbs since February,
but I'm more proud of my non-scale victories.  

 I ran a 5k with my future  mother-in-law for the first time! =)


Tell me about your recent mental snapshots (or pictures from your camera, too!) 
Comment below!

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