outside the comfort zone…

we’ve had incredibly mild weather so far this winter, here in northern virginia.  who would have thought, given our snowfall back in *october* ?!  i’m trying to be gracious about it all {because deep down inside, i’m a kid crying out for a good snowstorm}.  and while i’d like some white to grace our ground, it’s admittedly hard to dismiss the gorgeous weather we’ve had of late.

the other day, my children and i spent the afternoon walking the grounds of a botanical garden with good friends of ours.  unbelievably beautiful day.  dare i tell you the temperatures pushed 60 degrees farenheit…in january?  so i did my best to enjoy the mild temps.  and, well…i did.  how could i not?

the grounds were beautiful, the air was cool, the sun was warm.  the conversation among the children was animated and lively, the conversation between myself and my fellow homeschooling mama-friend was quite lively as well.  there was talk of curriculum and future schooling plans for the children, talk of  personal interests, a hinted talk of dreams.  given the beauty of nature and stimulating conversation…well, i was a quite contented woman.

and, to top it all off, i’ll tell you this…a bit of a confession mixed with a breaking-out of sorts.  i have spent my life *always* being incredibly self-conscious.  about everything.  i discovered about 15 years ago that i love placing myself behind a camera lens and viewing the world from behind that lens.  and as much as i love that, i often shy away from doing just that…i guess depending on who is near me at the moment.  so walking the grounds of this botanical garden, alongside a friend who i am growing to know and trust, i felt awkward at moments taking pictures in front of her.  but i did it anyway.  she said nothing…probably because she thought nothing of it.  it was me that was over-thinking things…i am always over-thinking things.  but i thought to myself, if i can’t take a freaking picture in the presence of this woman who i know and like quite a lot…then, hell, why bother *ever*?  and i know this may not mean anything to some of you.  because i know all of you don’t carry the same insecurities and doubts that i carry.  but…

in all honesty, had i taken this walk solo {or with my children and/or husband} i might have taken more photographs, but the thing is…i took photographs.

i am trying so very hard…each day…to live my life mindfully :: to live my life with love ::  to live my life creatively :: to live my life doing things that speak to me.  and so on this walk, i stepped ever so slightly out of my comfort zone.  i moved outside that soft little bubble and took photos while {gasp} someone saw me taking those photos.  someone witnessed my creative endeavor.  someone saw this urge, this act of mine.

in a very small way, i was owning who i was.

and in so many more instances to come, i hope, i will own who i am.  i will leave self-doubt and self-consciousness behind.  i will accept.  i will embrace.  i will explore.  i will live.

i will be inspired.

sending a little love your way, m

7 thoughts on “outside the comfort zone…

  1. Exercising creativity is vital to building community. It invites others to craft, make, create, imagine, forge into unknown places without panic, rebuild. it bridges across differences that have become the fodder for ghost stories about “others.” Creative labor is a gift of love. Thank you for doing this!

  2. I didn’t know you were in Northern Virginia. I was born there, and lived there most of my life. Beautiful nature there.

    I’m so happy that you’re stepping into yourself. I know how hard that can be, so I wish you luck and courage. Once you start doing it more, it will become more natural and feel more comfortable.

    As an aside, Helen has a wonderful post on creativity, if you’d like to take a look:


    All my best, Michelle!

  3. This comment is so so true. “Deep down inside, i’m a kid crying out for a good snowstorm”. And yes, strangely snow has been lacking in the UK too. Because of this, nature is keen to get move on.

    Kind Regards

    Tony Powell


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