December Diary: 2021 Day 27

We are leaving Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland for a few days, but it seems as though every other Aucklander is doing the same. In the traffic I notice a young girl in the back of her parents SUV making wave motions with her hand out of the window. It’s a relaxing sight. Kids don’t really understand the stresses of traffic, they are engaged fully in their own experience. I remind myself of being in the moment, no matter what. It is what it is.

On our way to Tauranga, which is a 3 hour drive, we stop at the Karangahape Gorge and walk the tunnel track. It’s hot, beautiful and reminds me how much I love our Kiwi summers. People are having picnics, swimming and taking in the sights. Gorgeous!

The Karangahape Tunnel was built over 100 years ago and was part of the main trunk line connecting the Bay of Plenty with Waikato, but is has been disused and now part of the many walking and biking tracks in this area.

Back on the road, we organise our next few days, make more picnic plans and listen to the stereo on loud. Then just for a moment, I too put my hand out the window and make wave motions. I mean, I am just a kid at heart.

Summertime

Another beautiful day. Catch you tomorrow xxx

December Diary: 2021 Day 10. Who would I be?

Who would I be if I didn’t give a f*ck!?

I was just listening to a podcast about this, about not being afraid to be ourselves: linked here. About making choices for us rather than what we think others expect of us, or what we are taught that society expects from us – especially as a woman. Or, maybe we make choices because we believe only certain things are possible for our lives. I guess the process for what we believe as possible is not one decision, but a mash-up of decisions and beliefs. It’s complex.

What would we choose, what decisions would we make if we truely, as in REALLY, followed our inner most dreams. If we believed anything was possible.

Who would I be if I didn’t give a f*ck!?

Usually my decisions are framed around money, known abilities and expectations… I don’t make honest decisions I make filtered decisions. And I bet, 100% I’m not alone.

But, how do I step out of these filters, how do I take the big leap? I don’t have the answers, I just have questions. And the more I think about this the more questions I have.

mm things that make me go mmm.

Wow. Heavy thoughts for a Friday. But such is life. I accept today, my thoughts, frustrations, joyous moments, everything.

Also I got a new sweet ink today:

Ink by: Auckland tattoo Studio

This ink has a very special meaning to it – but I won’t tell that story here. However, it is good to do things for ourselves that have huge meaning – and don’t really mean anything else to anyone else. For us alone.

Lots of thoughts and reflections floating around today. Hope you are all well.

Catch you tomorrow xx

December Diary: 2021 Day Seven

It’s been a difficult day. It’s been difficult to focus, to keep going, to stay in the present.

I started my day with Yoga and creative practice, but then it just slipped into stress, worry and negative thoughts. I don’t know why, it just happened. And, sometimes that is life’s experience. I mean it’s not meant to be happy all the time. We have to have the ups with the downs. That’s life.

I did manage to create another hand-made stitched journal. This one is a little more refined than yesterday’s attempt and I think I will gift it to someone for Christmas. I want to add some decorative bits and pieces, so I will share that when it is finished. But other than that, is was a very unproductive day.

To be fair I have been unwell, so it’s not that I was just doing nothing, I actually took the day off work to try and recover from an infection. But I find it difficult to ‘do’ not much, even when I am unwell.

However, we did go for an evening walk, the sea breeze was wonderful – just what I needed to blow away my over-thinking.

Pic of the day: Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland Harbour

Gratitude

I’m so grateful for the breeze. It seems like a silly thing to say, but the breeze today was everything.

Catch you tomorrow xx

December Diary: 2021 Day Four

I am an artist. I am creative. Isn’t that good to say, out loud. Just say it.

Even if you don’t think that about yourself. Say it anyway. Out loud! “I am an artist.” Because we are all artists. We might not be painters or illustrators or potters but we are artful, we all create. And so we should celebrate.

Pic of the day: This is a book title by Bob and Roberta Smith

Being artful, means you ‘think’ creatively, you let yourself explore, be curious, be playful with ideas.

If you, for some reason, have become stuck in routine or are feeling melancholy or perhaps things feel overwhelming this is where being artful can spark a fresh angle on life. It can be a simple as getting out of bed on the other side, taking a different route to work or having lunch in the park instead of the office.

Being artful suggests play. And play opens our mind to seeing the world a-new. Just try it.

I believe that we experience life the way we view it. Meaning if we view life as meaningless, or negatively we will experience life in that way. However, if we see life playfully, if life is a curious and full of possibilities then we will experience life more positively. I suffer from depression and I know what it means to think about life negativity but one of my greatest assets is the ability to play.

Playfulness could be difficult if you are not use to it. I would start with identifying something in your life that you feel is negative or not how you would like it to be and imagine it differently. Start small. Maybe your cubicle at work is depressing you. How could you transform it. Think of what a cubicle would look like from the keyboards perspective, think of a cubicle floating in space, think of a hit song titled “The Magic Cubicle”. Sound weird? Good. Think about it differently, have fun in your mind. Now think about how you can make it a beautiful space to work in.

There is no end to play, no one can take your imagination away. It’s all yours.

Just following on from yesterday. It is our shift day, and as I write this the movers are here with our carefully packed boxes. I’m sitting in the car keeping out of their way. Our possessions at the moment are in a truck. It’s a very odd feeling and I will be glad when the boxes are loaded into the new place.

Grateful

I am grateful we have been able to afford movers this time. Shifting house is super stressful and having people to assist is such a blessing. I am very fortunate.

Hope you are all well.

Catch you tomorrow xx and remember to PLAY

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

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

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