Photo credit: Izzy Powell (8th grade) @izzypowell.26 Just hanging out at the Steamboat Hot Air Balloon Rodeo ...
Happy 4th of July! I spotted this creative flag outside of Yampa, Colorado. Such a cool creation. I’m wishing everyone a fantastic and relaxing holiday with lots of fireworks and fanfare. For whatever bizarre reason, there will be no fireworks over here in Aspen. It’s been the wettest spring/summer any of us can remember and pretty much every city in Colorado (including Steamboat!) is having some patriotic pyrotechnics. and of course, that’s ok. I’m excited to be here with my family, celebrating a holiday we’ve been throwing big parties around since I was little. But seriously, Aspen, wtf (Where are The Fireworks?!😫). Ok I’ll stop whining. There are so many things to be grateful for on this holiday. Happy 4th!
Happy Sunday from this cute friend I made in Peru last spring. Savoring this bucket list trip a little longer ... his smile, head held high, rocking the dreads. Comfortable in his own skin. I think I’ll channel my inner llama, today. How about you?
My self-care used to sound more harmful than helpful. I had TMJ and neck pain due to toxic stress. I tried dry needling to get some relief. This is where a giant knitting needle was poked into my neck in an attempt to loosen the muscles that were clenched too tight. It didn’t loosen the muscles, it loosened a migraine. I then decided to have my jaw worked on - most painful type of massage. I'll spare you the TMI but let's just say laytex gloves and a whole lot of pressure in unpleasant places is involved. Point is, I’d have the work done, feel mildly better (or just relieved to be done) & then I’d be back the next week. It was a ridiculous cycle. I used to joke with a rollfer that I had crossed over to the dark side. I didn’t want to pay $100 for a massage therapist to rub lotion on me to help me relax. I wanted results. Grrrrr. I shared this with my coach at the time, @Pamslim and she said to me, wow, Lizzie, even your self-care sounds awful. It sounds like medieval torture. In the depths of my distress, I even canceled my spot in a creative writing retreat I had signed up for months before to take with Pam and the fabulous Betsy Rappaport. A decision I deeply regret. I remember Pam telling me, I think you really need this writing retreat, Lizzie. I think you’ll be so grateful you came. And, yet, I canceled, because I thought I should treat the symptoms rather than the source. I later realized (when I was being fitted for another bite plate I loathed) that the source was a total disregard for what I wanted in life. A total disregard for doing things that lit me up from within. An inability to nourish my soul in the way it wanted to be nourished. The writing retreat would’ve helped. My shoulders would’ve dropped a few inches, my belly would’ve hurt from laughing too hard. My mind would be swimming with new ideas, my heart would’ve been full, back then. Self-care is healthcare. Thankfully, mine looks pretty different now. I go for the hell yeahs instead of the hell and back. I nourish my soul. How about you?
This is happening right now. I want summer as much as the next Steamboater (possibly even more), but I do find the crazy green and white contrast interesting... besides that, I can’t find much of a silver lining because I’m looking for a blue sky!!! I am fine without fireworks, so that’s not a helpful reframe. I’m happy for the river and I’m glad we aren’t having a drought, but wow, this is insanity. I’ve lived here 23 years and this just hit new levels of crazy Colorado weather. I’m so glad Matt and I hiked yesterday during summer, yesterday. I guess summer was about 90 minutes long...and we are back to never-ending winter. Anyone want to buy my house? I think I hear the beach calling...
When it snows on June 21st, solstice or no solstice, it’s the longest day of the freakin’ year... ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Ok back to not dwelling on the crazy Colorado weather and never-ending winter.... ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ This photo I took in Peru in April at Machu Picchu. One of our tour guides kept marveling at the Incan’s architecture and saying “Happy New Year” on June 21st. He explained to us how much they revered the solstice, what it meant to them. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I loved how in touch with the stars, the seasons, and the sun the Incans were. Architecture with soul not architecture with ego. Ha. Maybe there was a little ego. Machu Picchu is pretty impressive.... ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ok off to try to change my attitude about snow in June .... and savor our bucket list Peru trip a little longer... what are you doing on this summer solstice? Hopefully it’s warm and wonderful wherever you are...
📽 by @katyjoyalice at our life feast bonus #stopmotion play date. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Yes you are on the verge of a miracle! But you have to sign up first. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #thelifefeast starts tomorrow. It’s online. You don’t have to live in Steamboat. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ You do have to want to be inspired in every area of your life ... #truthbomb #letsgoooo #doorsareclosing #motion #youarethemiracle
📷 photo by #theLifeFeast student @katyjoyalice of @tallpoppiesdesign ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Today is the LAST DAY to sign up. We're waiting for you, what are you waiting for? xoxox Lizzie positive psychology based coach, photographer & writer Creator of The Life Feast, Gratitude Gravy, Right Brain Resolution Revolution Doors are closing, feast starts Thursday, June 20th. DM me for the sign up link or for any questions you have. No special skills, no need to be creative, no special equipment, no need to live in Steamboat. Just you + me + this fantastic community of people doing midlife with more curiosity, awe and creativity.
Photography is a highly accessible art form. We are all carrying around these powerful cameras that we sometimes make phone calls on, or check email on or play Candy Crush on. You don’t need special equipment for The Life Feast. Your iPhone is pretty special in and of itself. And learning to use your phones for creativity rather than just consumption means that we notice our surroundings more than we get seduced by our screens. As parents, we put our kids first, as we should. But that doesn’t mean that our own needs should be dead last and neglected. It’s so strange to me that we put so much effort and energy into the enrichment of our kids only to role model that, as adults, we should just let it all atrophy. I do think that this is why our kids think that moving back into the basement is more appealing than subscribing to our version of adulthood. I’ve said it before and I’ll repeat it, again: we aren’t meant to just pay bills and die. As Picasso said, art washes the dust of everyday life off of our souls. If you’re well into your mid-life, like I am, you probably feel a little dusty. So let’s change up our self-care, let’s put creativity on the front burner, let’s show our kids what used to light us up from the inside. If you’re ready to join me for The Life Feast, please sign up right here. Don’t postpone it. If you’re having a hard time right now, The Life Feast is a beautiful reset button. If you’re swinging from the chandelier and loving life, then The Life Feast will teach you how to savor the good more (because life gets all lifey on us in a hot second) The Life Feast is an online course. While there are a few bonus opportunities if you life in Steamboat or want to travel to Steamboat, you don't have to live here to take the course (and benefit from it). It’s made for busy people (short modules, easy creativity prompts) and you’ll be part of a growing community of people around the world doing life differently. I can’t wait to see you in there.
📷 photo by #thelifefeast student, Shea Cochran. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The camera makes a crummy, rainy day a canvas for creativity. It can make an otherwise long and boring car ride an opportunity for interesting compositions. It helps you remember the wrinkles of your favorite grandparent. The moments that might have been a blur when your kids were little and you were sleep deprived. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ To me, photography as a creative habit is a no brainer. Not only does it provide opportunities for you to be creative in the strangest of circumstances, but it also is a way to savor and capture this time in our kids’ lives that is fleeing by. It's not time-consuming. It's available pretty much all the time and you don't have to live in a pretty place to take pretty pictures (I rarely take scenic photos and I live in a pretty place). As a positive psychology tool, the camera teaches us how to look for the good, how to turn a negative into a positive, how to flip our focus and find a new perspective on something that’s plaguing us. It teaches us how to adopt a growth mindset, engage our curiosity, live a little more adventurously and get out of our comfort zones.(Continued on next post)
(Continued) As crazy as life got, I never put that camera down, again. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ As Dorothea Lange says, the camera teaches you how to see without using a camera. And as I tell my students, It teaches you how to not miss moments, how to be more present, how to savor, how to change a stuck perspective and how to find beauty basically anywhere. (Continued on next post)
(From previous post) As desperate as I was to start the adoption journey, I took a week-long photography class, first. The class was intense, more like a photography boot camp. Sunrise to sunset with editing and critiques in between. No time for adoption paperwork that week. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I didn’t know how much I needed the class until I got in there. I laughed, I met the most incredible people, I stretched my imagination, I learned composition techniques, I learned how to make weird and wonderful pictures in any situation, I discovered that I loved junk yards, old cars, crazy roosters (who knew?!). What a gift that class was. I am grateful to Karen Schulman, one of my mentors, for offering it. I had no idea that creativity would become my go-to boost on my bad days or that it would be a way to process the hard stuff that came a few years later in my business and marriage. And believe me, as enthusiastic as I seem now, there were some very challenging situations I had to contend with for many years. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ When I signed up for that photography class back in 2005, I had no idea that creativity would become such a crucial tool in my self-care toolbox. I just followed my curiosity (and my hunch) and signed up. I’m so glad I took it when I did. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Raising toddler twins while also owning a 300-seat restaurant during a major recession is a bit time-consuming. And my husband then had 6 surgeries plus 2 emergency medical procedures over a 7-year period. So, we were busy. I was a basket case. And still, I leaned on creativity. (spoiler alert, he's ok, we're ok, thank you for any concern). (Continued on next post)