December Diary: 2021 Day Three

It is the last night in our house before the shifters arrive tomorrow. It’s been pretty hectic getting packed up and ready to move while being in ‘lock-down’ and working pretty much full-time. But such is life, can’t complain. Actually I’m extremely grateful.

Tomorrow brings a new chapter.

A fresh start. Change. Movement.

As I said in the last couple of posts, the apartment is smaller than our current situation and it has been the best time to get rid of unwanted, unused, stuff and think about what new items we will bring into our lives. I think we will be much more intentional this time around.

I have two more weeks of work, and then I’m off for a month to enjoy the holidays with family and a much needed rest. I truely believe this year has been my hardest. So much has happened, and I’m not even talking about the pandemic. During my time off I want to reflect on my YouTube channel. Re-think how I am putting myself out there.

As an audience member of YouTube, I know what I enjoy and why it brings value to my experience of engaging with online content, but it is very difficult to create it. Ha ha – but I love doing it, so keep on keeping on.

Pic of the Day: Early morning walk at Cornwallis Beach this morning.

Gratitude

I’m thankful for the sunshine today. It popped in and out of the clouds all day and seemed to be there when I needed it most. I find that sunshine is so critical to my mental health.

Hope you are all well.

Catch you tomorrow xx

December Diary: 2021 Day Two

I always feel as if December has extraordinary energy. A little too heightened at times, but full of possibilities. I don’t know if it is because it’s the last month of the year or because of holidays, or something else. In the southern hemisphere it is the first month of summer, so maybe it is the fresh heat, the summer wind – I’m not sure, maybe it is a mixture of all these things. But I do recognise the energy and I thrive in it.

I feel like a cat caught in a ray of sun, soaking it all up, unable to move away. I love December. Today was a particularly good day. We finally picked up our keys to the new apartment. New to us – it is actually a bit of a do-up. But a new exciting adventure. Once we picked up the keys we went and spent some time in the apartment. It was our first time there without the realestate agent. Isn’t it odd that the most expensive thing you purchase in life (if you are fortunate enough) is something you hardly get to see. Anyway, we hung out, opened the windows and doors, listened to the sounds and tried to imagine all our furniture fitting in and making a home.

Photo of the day: Keys to our apartment

Shifting is hard to do, not just physically, but emotionally, and mentally. I love change, I want it and need it, but at the same time I resist, the ‘same’ seems safe. So, today I’ve been a bit up and down, one minute I’m excited looking forward to all the ‘new’ and the next moment I’m feeling nervous and wondering if we have done the right thing. But that is life I guess. That is change.

Gratitude

Today I’m grateful that our cat ‘kitty’ can go to a cattery for a few days while we shift. Although I miss her, I know she will hate all the boxing, and shifting that is going to happen. I’m also grateful for that summer wind, I was talking about before, it brings with it a fresh cool touch and a feeling that anything is possible.

Chat tomorrow xx

December Diary: 2021 Day One

Here we go! A Kick Start into December.

A month of sharing my daily journey starting today. I did do a month of writing in 2020, but that was in July, so it has been a while. This is what it will look like:

  • diary
  • photo pic of the day
  • gratitude, quote, or thought of the day

So, let’s begin.

It’s Wednesday, mid week, and we are in the middle of shifting house. Most of our things are packed, sold or in storage. If you have ever shifted you will know how good it feels to go through collected items and realise that they are not fit for purpose anymore, which gives you permission to let them go. I really don’t know why I hold onto things for so long. But I do, and I know it’s a common practice.

Anyway – that is where we are at. We are not moving far, but the place is a lot smaller, so another reason to let things go within that idea of ‘down-sizing’. It’s funny to think I can let things go at anytime, but only do go through this activity when I have to. Maybe this time I wont collect stuff.

Maybe – but I’m not holding my breath.

This morning, I went for a walk down our beautiful mismatched windy street to a small inlet on the Manakau Harbour. Such a lovely spot, and when I was there I wondered if it would be the last time I saw it. I’ve gone down there a lot over the last few years, it’s only a 15 min walk away, so it has been an easy place to seek out some comfort during all the ‘lock-down days’ we’ve had.

Today’s Pic

So my gratitude for today goes to this place. A place of solitude and reflection and a place that gave a different view and perspective every time I visited it. Whether or not I come here again, I will always be grateful.

Catch you tomorrow. xx

At The Horizon

Finally we are here. The interactive poetical documentary ‘At The Horizon’ is online and free to view for two weeks, from 25 November till 8 December 2021.

To view click here

Installation of ‘At The Horizon” at RM Gallery 2020

I want to point out that for viewing reasons the interaction is much better on a desktop, laptop or tablet. It is not made for phone viewing, so you may encounter glitches if you watch from there.

I first started thinking about the documentary in 2016 and this is when I interviewed my mother, and from that point the idea of ‘At The Horizon’ unfolded. I finished the work late 2020 and it had its debut at RM gallery in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, since then, however, and due to continuing lockdowns, the work has not been able to have public viewings. It is this reason that I have put the work online, holding my own exhibition if you will.

So Please go to the website and check it out. Then let me know down below, or feel free to ask questions.

Putting Myself “out there”.

Hi everyone, I hope you are all well.

I’m contemplating, reflecting on the feeling or experience of “putting myself out there”, sharing online, writing this Blog and recently starting a YouTube channel.

It’s difficult, amazing, fun, hard, and very humbling. It’s humbling because part of me wants or needs success, and I’m told that success is measured in views and reads: the more subscribers, the more engagement, click-throughs… and so on. Numbers measure how successful I am.

But on reflection…

That’s not why I started these things. I get caught up in posts like “How to grow your channel”, and I forget that I started it for fun, to share, to grow and to challenge myself.

I’ve been treating myself to cut flowers once a week

So, I have given myself a reality check. If I want to keep going, I need to remind myself that success comes from within, not externally.

Success – gets the best of us. It questions our own beliefs, makes us feel not good enough, makes us compare – and I don’t want to be part of that.

My creativity and the way I share is mine. I don’t have to follow a formula or pattern that someone says makes a successful blog of vlog…

I’m going to be strong, and do what I want – because that is valid. What and how I want to share isn’t measured in numbers.

That’s me this week. I little wake-up call. Standing up for myself, being my best friend, listening to my own advice.

If you want to know what I think more extensively on the topic, I’ve written a 2 part blog on success: linked below:

Success Part One

Success Part Two

Put yourself out there, share if you want to, but choose your own success.

Catch you next time.

NAVIGATING CHANGE – through the creative process

I’ve made a YouTube video about this, about what I’m going through and how I’m adjusting to change and preparing for change. Things we need to think about, plan and put into action.

For more on this please click here

I think change is one of the hardest aspects of life, but also one of the most essential, we can’t allow ourselves to stagnate, we need change, we need to move forward, we need to take risks and be brave. The quote below is exactly how I feel about it. Don’t fester on the things you are letting go or saying goodbye to, but face forward.

The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new” 

Socrates

Short but sweet this week. It’s all in the video so check it out.

Catch you next week xx

Putting on an Online Exhibition

An audio-visual work I recently created, (end of 2020), had an initial opening and gallery exhibition, however since then, and mainly due to COVID restrictions and our current lock-down in Auckland further exhibitions have been cancelled or been put on hold.

So, I’ve decided to put my own online exhibition together for this particular work.

I recently watched, ‘Virtual Art Exhibitions: Teaching Art Online‘ with Art Prof Clara Lieu. This was hugely helpful and got me underway to put my show together. Lieu mainly discussed having an exhibition on Instagram, and I’m not doing that, but all the tools for the organisation of the event are pretty much what I’m doing. If you are wanting to organise an online event I would recommend watching this.

I have organised screenings of films, and been involved in arranging events before, so I’m not a complete novice at the task, however, I’ve never organised an online event. I’m really excited about this event and I’m also excited about the possibility of doing other online exhibitions, and not just for my own work. Online exhibitions provide a much wider audience and and a chance to work and collaborate with artists and creators I wouldn’t usually get the chance to work with. So, my little online exhibition will be a good tester.

If you are also putting an online exhibition or event together I would recommend designing backwards. Start with the event name and the date, who you want to attend and why you are putting this on. From that date work backwards, until the present moment. I created a simple spreadsheet and worked backwards deciding on what would need done and when. It was straightforward and took a couple of hours. I listed all the physical work I would have to do, but mainly it was the advertising and promotion of the event that took a bit to work out.

I first decided the platforms I wanted to advertise on and listed all the posts I would do, what would be the content of those posts, and what the posts would add (as in value), so I wouldn’t be just repeating the same content. Some posts are informative, some more interactive, and some are adding a personal touch so the audience can feel connected. I think this is more important for an online exhibition or event, due to the physical separation. I would suggest to do this, if you are also putting an event together. It takes a bit of time, but once you have the list of what to do, and the dates you need to post, it is just a case of getting the shizz done!!

Made this image in Adobe Spark and have used it for FB and Insta posts.

The other thing I have done to prepare is download the Adobe Spark App, it has just made things sooo much easier to make posts look good and cohesive. I’m my own graphic artist on this one, so any help I can get is worth the money. So far, that is the only thing I have paid out for.

If you are thinking of organising something online put some time into research beforehand. There are lots of people and organisations doing more and more of it, so there’s plenty of tips out there. I will post more about my exhibition and how to attend, closer to the time.

That’s all folks. Hope you are all well. Let me know if the comments below if you enjoyed this post.

Catch you next time. xx

Step-Through-The-Day with Intention

I do find it is hard to keep ‘managing life’: I guess that’s what you call it. For example, getting up, doing yoga or exercise, meditation, morning journals and then the day begins, usually work. Then trying to fit creativity in at the end of it all, and sometimes in the weekend, then there’s family and friend commitments and just life-jobs.

I’ve been putting that morning routine in place so I can manage my own life. Sometimes, of course, I don’t do them, or not all of them anyway. I do enjoy most of it most of the time – but when I’m low it’s hard to manage doing the things that help me “manage life”. Ha Ha. Gosh – Yeah.

I’m guessing we are all in the same boat with that one, we all have our own routines that make daily life – make sense, or bearable, or at least give us a chance to step-through-the-day.

There is always the things that need to be done. All the bits and pieces that need attention. For me, like I said it starts with the body and mind. So, stepping the body into the day with yoga, and for the mind it is meditation and journaling.

Step Through with Intention

However, this is just the morning. What about the rest of the day?

What I have found, especially in lockdown and working from home, is to segment my day off with intention. I break my day up into clear segments, like my morning routine. If I can use intention my mind and body switch into the different activities, projects or tasks that need to get done. If I have everything open, emails, slack, text, FB…. then my intention (and focus) can easily slip away during that period.

It is difficult to actively follow through everyday – every time, but the more I do this the better I get at it, just like anything else I suppose. Also tasks come up, usually from others, that are seemingly urgent – but to be honest (and I’m learning this over time) most things are not so urgent that I should allow it to affect my intended time.

If I have lots of bits and pieces to get done I try to pull them together – calling it a ‘bits and pieces’ morning. I do all those little things with intention. Having intention does not mean that every chink of time is working on some amazing project, most of my time is spent with work and family and other life happenings… However, putting time into segments, for me, has been helpful.

Of course you want to chuck in ‘the no plan-plan-days‘, where you do whatever the hell you wanna do – that has to happen!

Just to add in here, I heard from someone at sometime… and I don’t know who said this or how convoluted it has become, but our energy decreases by half 3x over the day. So for example our energy is at max for about 3 hours, then for the next 3 hours it has decreased by half, and then for the next 3 hours it has decreased by half again. So, if you are implementing tasks, what I have found is to prioritise the time. Put your most important task of the day first. It works for me, so thought I’d share.

Anyway that’s it for me. I know you will also have strategies that keep you focused and use that precious time yours, so, please share.

I hope you are all well. Catch you next time. xx

Being Thankful

If you don’t know what to do and you’re feeling overwhelmed saying ‘thank you’ might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but it works. I recently listened to a spiritual leader called Mooji who said just saying ‘thank you’ is enough to change or shift your mood or position on the day.

If you just repeat those simple words, “thank you… thank you… thank you…” and keep repeating. After a while a peace settles in and then you will start to see all the people and things in your life that you are thankful for.

Some Tulips I quickly sketched just for you…

I’m writing this because I’ve had to do this exact exercise this week a couple of times already. I’ve let my mind become a monster. It is so easy to do and the mind seems ready to jump into that character pretty quickly. Allowing myself to over worry, overthink and imagine fictitious fear mongering scenarios, all which keep me overwhelmed and anxious. It’s hard to stop a habitual way of thinking, and it will take some work, but in the end to carry a sense of peace is worth the effort.

So , when I learn of little things, like repeating the words ‘thank you’ and find that it actually works, I’m happy, actually excited, to share with you. Because, for me, 2021 has probably been one of the hardest years I’ve ever experienced. Any form of peace I can hold for myself these days is precious.

This quote seems to fit where I’m at right now.

The center that I cannot find is known to my unconscious mind.

W. H. Auden

Well I trust the unconscious mind knows, because most days I certainly don’t. I did make a short Vlog this week that discusses value and holding on to our unique creative ability. If you want to watch that, click here.

Hope you have a peace-fueled week. Catch you next time xx

What I’m making in Lockdown

Kia ora, welcome, I hope you are all well.

I just want to share with you what I’ve been creating over the last few weeks. It is not something I have done before, so it is a good challenge while we are in lock down in Tamaki Makaurau, Auckland. I have made short films before, experimental films, short documentaries, but I’ve never made a poetry film.

Poetry films have become quite popular, especially on YouTube and there are also film festivals world wide that only screen this genre. The Zebra Poetry Film Festival is one that comes to mind. Go and check out some of the films they have on their site – they are amazing!!

I love how language and visuals have to circle around each other, and there are so many interpretations and areas you could go down. Interpreting poetry has endless possibilities. I have documented my process in making my poetry film on my YouTube Channel, (which I have only just started this year).

Hopefully I will have it finished over the next couple of weeks. It was a struggle to come up with visuals to connect with the poem at first, but I’m now moving steadily forward.

I’ve been mainly looking at the natural landscape around me and colour, especially using colour in paints. Still got a bit of testing and work to go, however I’m loving the process. It’s good to be actively creating in a number of mediums at the moment. Trying to keep my creative muscle flexible and resilient, especially in the times we are living.

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use the more you have.” 

Maya Angelou

Love this quote, I think I sometimes fall into this idea that if I put my creative energy into a project I wont have any worthwhile ideas for another project, but of course that is not the case. The more I make, the more creative energy I have.

I will link to the final film when it is up on YouTube, but just wanted to let you know what I’ve been creating lately.

Let me know how your own creativity is going…. or not going. Catch you next time

Juby xx