High Fives and Elephant Bites

“When eating an elephant take one bite at a time.” - Creighton Abrams

“When eating an elephant take one bite at a time.”
– Creighton Abrams

 

Jumping Back In  Round #5462.

I want to _____________ , but I don’t know where to start.  <—-  Fill in the blank with THE THING in your practice that is currently large and/or overwhelming.

That thing is THE ELEPHANT.

And once something has turned into an Elephant it can seem impossible to consume.

True confession

This website is my elephant.  Most days I look at it and wonder:

What to share?  How to start?  How to eat this elephant?

Apparently, the trick is to create Elephant bites.  Here are a couple of ways to create Elephant bites:

 

GIVE YOURSELF CREDIT

Sometimes we have our eyes on what we think we should be doing and we miss the important things we ARE doing.   What are you already doing?  Where can you give yourself a high five?  A couple of years ago, I was knee-deep in brainstorming the next thing I was going to offer.  I was feeling panicky because I didn’t have a new workshop or a new series to paint.  A dear friend reminded me that I had an entire body of work that I’d already created in the pages of my journals.  I’ve filled book after book with sketches, paintings and poems.  There were hundreds of pieces of art and writing that I was discounting because they didn’t look like my original plan.  It was good to give myself a high five.  I created a new workshop based on those pages.  Boom.

Figure out what you’re already doing and give your self a high five.  Here’s one to get you started.

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DO ONE THING EVERY DAY

[and don’t stop.]

For almost a decade, I’ve been waking up early and making daily journal entries.  Writing morning pages or painting/sketching in my journal.  This practice is everything.  This one daily habit informs everything I create.

What one thing can you do – even if you don’t understand exactly where you’re going?  What is one thing that you can do to strengthen your practice?  Do it.  And do it again.  And again.

Here are some elephant bites from last week:

12 Jan Every two weeks or so I prep several double page spreads in the journal that I'm using. I love having color and image waiting for me to add layers of text, marks and/or more image. I missed my early morning journal time today, so now I'm curled up in bed with a white pen, a sharpie and a cuppa. #soulwork #morningbirdatnight #makepages

12 Jan Every two weeks or so I prep several double page spreads in the journal that I’m using. I love having color and image waiting for me to add layers of text, marks and/or more image. I missed my early morning journal time today, so now I’m curled up in bed with a white pen, a sharpie and a cuppa. #soulwork #morningbirdatnight #makepages

13 Jan I've created a new morning nook with no computer and a bigger window. I love to time it so that I'm here reading/writing/praying as the sun rises. The changing light is gentle even if the current of my mind is rushing or kinetic. The soundtrack is birdsong. Thank you @randygarmon for letting my practice move as necessary. For graciously accepting little corners overflowing with paintbrushes and stacks of books. This morning I am tending to my soul with berries, poetry, long lists and beautiful pastels. #gratitudes #laventana #beinyourlife

13 Jan I’ve created a new morning nook with no computer and a bigger window. I love to time it so that I’m here reading/writing/praying as the sun rises. The changing light is gentle even if the current of my mind is rushing or kinetic. The soundtrack is birdsong. Thank you @randygarmon for letting my practice move as necessary. For graciously accepting little corners overflowing with paintbrushes and stacks of books. This morning I am tending to my soul with berries, poetry, long lists and beautiful pastels. #gratitudes #laventana #beinyourlife

17 Jan And then @andes_mountain said, "Let me help you with this decision. I'm taking half of the mugs with me. And you LOVE this one..." [insert knowing look from brown, snappy eyes] I have purposed to not only be shed of that which no longer serves, but to choose that which delights and fulfills my desires. No more denial about what I want. No more playing small. Just permission to chose what, when, where and with whom I thrive. Thanks to The Girl for wisdom and bold declarations. Today, I choose ordered spaces, ginger tea in a cute fox mug and time in the sunlight. #beinyourlife #50dragons

17 Jan And then @andes_mountain said, “Let me help you with this decision. I’m taking half of the mugs with me. And you LOVE this one…” [insert knowing look from brown, snappy eyes]I have purposed to not only be shed of that which no longer serves, but to choose that which delights and fulfills my desires. No more denial about what I want. No more playing small. Just permission to chose what, when, where and with whom I thrive. Thanks to The Girl for wisdom and bold declarations. Today, I choose ordered spaces, ginger tea in a cute fox mug and time in the sunlight. #beinyourlife #50dragons

19 Jan Tonight I gathered via technology with a some of my favorites. These women share wisdom and inspiration. I fill pages and pages with their reflections and insight. Tonight I get at least 500 #lifepoints for tending to my soul by holding space with them. "Don't judge your desires." #beinyourlife #dreamholders

19 Jan Tonight I gathered via technology with a some of my favorites. These women share wisdom and inspiration. I fill pages and pages with their reflections and insight. Tonight I get at least 500 #lifepoints for tending to my soul by holding space with them. “Don’t judge your desires.” #beinyourlife #dreamholders

20 Jan the word TRANSITION keeps coming up, so I'm sitting with it. In this season, it is connected to EXPANSION and dreams and birthing new things. So that's where I'm putting my eyes and heart. I like to know exactly what's coming my way. I don't. All I know to do is paint & write daily in order to listen carefully. #atpeace #seekingjoy #chasingdesire #50dragons

20 Jan the word TRANSITION keeps coming up, so I’m sitting with it. In this season, it is connected to EXPANSION and dreams and birthing new things. So that’s where I’m putting my eyes and heart. I like to know exactly what’s coming my way. I don’t. All I know to do is paint & write daily in order to listen carefully. #atpeace #seekingjoy #chasingdesire #50dragons

21 Jan Moving paint and listening deep at @bucketsofcolor studio. Thanks Jen for the parallel play. #thepagesknow #beinyourlife

21 Jan Moving paint and listening deep at @bucketsofcolor studio. Thanks Jen for the parallel play. #thepagesknow #beinyourlife

22 Jan Current WIP. I've made a commitment to invest in my practice w daily pages/paint. These are quick intuitive investments in soul tending, not planned, technical works. Today I painted at the kitchen counter during lunch w @andes_mountain. @joshuagarmon 's chocolate wrappers came in handy. #listening #beinyourlife

22 Jan Current WIP. I’ve made a commitment to invest in my practice w daily pages/paint. These are quick intuitive investments in soul tending, not planned, technical works. Today I painted at the kitchen counter during lunch w @andes_mountain. @joshuagarmon ‘s chocolate wrappers came in handy. #listening #beinyourlife

23 Jan spent the afternoon at the kitchen counter w @teamscott7 talking color, contrast and retrospectives. I love the cross-pollination that happens when two or more creatives are gathered. #beinyourlife #thepagesknow

23 Jan spent the afternoon at the kitchen counter w @teamscott7 talking color, contrast and retrospectives. I love the cross-pollination that happens when two or more creatives are gathered. #beinyourlife #thepagesknow

24 Jan I've spent the last several years in classes and online communities that have been amazing support structures for me to build my creative practice. I have shown up to books, courses & groups. I've created for years with bits and pieces of time and energy in the cracks and crevices of a busy life of motherhood and service. Classes and invitations have given me voice and a path to daily disciplines. I now find myself with an almost empty nest and a voracious appetite to create without a construct. To paint/write everyday. Period. Whatever I want - from the overflow of my heart. I've been painting every morning and at the end of the session turning to a new sheet and spreading leftover paint and gluing down the paper palette. I love how today's choices and investments in listening are laying tomorrow's foundation. #ebbandflow #50dragons #paintlikeamuther

24 Jan I’ve spent the last several years in classes and online communities that have been amazing support structures for me to build my creative practice. I have shown up to books, courses & groups. I’ve created for years with bits and pieces of time and energy in the cracks and crevices of a busy life of motherhood and service. Classes and invitations have given me voice and a path to daily disciplines. I now find myself with an almost empty nest and a voracious appetite to create without a construct. To paint/write everyday. Period. Whatever I want – from the overflow of my heart. I’ve been painting every morning and at the end of the session turning to a new sheet and spreading leftover paint and gluing down the paper palette. I love how today’s choices and investments in listening are laying tomorrow’s foundation. #ebbandflow #50dragons #paintlikeamuther

If you like small Elephant bites, I microblog over at Instagram as @wildthyme.

For macroblogs check in here at the wild thyme creative site.  You can subscribe and get email notifications over in the upper right-hand corner of this page.    [I never sell or share your email address and you can unsubscribe anytime!]

 

BE in your life!

Betsy

By | 2016-10-19T14:20:30+00:00 February 2nd, 2015|Uncategorized|6 Comments

About the Author:

I create containers for words and paint and I fill them. I craft safe, sacred spaces for people to wrestle, create, heal and shout from the mountain tops.
 
And I teach people to do all of these things for themselves.

  • Mindy

    While there were so many beautiful things I took away from this blog, “Don’t judge your desires” struck a heartstring with amazing precision.

    • Mindy – This has been a powerful message for me, too. Am currently reading The Desire Map by Danielle Laporte. Highly recommend!

  • Terry

    You have no idea how much this post spoke to me – I love you for writing it and sharing all your images. PS: Love Danielle LaPorte too! Thank you so much!

    • Terry Awesome! I hope that you end up with some Elephant bites and inspiration! ~ Betsy

  • Hope M.

    Love love.

  • Bill Swan

    Thanks for the encouragement. I feel like I’m always saying “Alright, for real this time, I’m back.” Guess I’ll just keep taking bites and giving myself the homeschool high five!