“First comes thought;
then organization of that thought into ideas and plans;
then transformation of those plans into reality.
The beginning, as you will observe, is in your imagination.”
Napoleon Hill


When I started Project 180, my intent was to blog everyday for 180 days—right up until my 30th birthday—about the step I took toward a life inhabited and supported by my creative endeavors. But as the date and time stamp between blog posts reveal, I haven’t been very consistent as of late. And that’s a very uncomfortable and confusing place for me.

On one hand, I feel as though I have stayed true to taking one step—however small it may be—every day. I’m now writing regularly for three local publications. I’m putting myself out there by sending my freelance resume and writing samples to just about every local and regional publication I can think of that’s within 50 miles of home. I made some significant progress in the research stage for a historical travel feature I’m interested in writing. I narrowed down a few potential publishers for my picture book manuscript. I’m redesigning my business website so I can bring Stepping Stones Studios (my creative journaling workshops) and Re•Told Journals (my line of handcrafted journals made from upcycled vintage books) under one roof. (It’s just about ready to go! My goal is to launch it before the end of the month, so stay tuned.) I established more connections through Facebook and Twitter. Even in the home, my husband and I went through our budget with a fine-tooth comb to see where we can save even more. I even went WAY out of my comfort zone and created and excel spreadsheet complete with mathematical functions to help track our spending. (The poor left side of my brain didn’t know what hit it!)

So, when I look at that I see that I have made progress over the past several weeks! I have...even if I didn’t write about it. But right there—right there in the admission of “I didn’t write about it” I struggle with feelings of defeat and failure.

But to be honest, some days are just complete and utter melt-down days where throwing myself on the floor for an all out hissy fit, complete with tears, pounding fists, kicking fit and screams of, “I quit”—sounds more appealing than writing a blog post. Mainly, it’s difficult to write something inspiring and encouraging on those days. And I want Project 180 to be a place of “sparkly glitter-filled rainbows and unicorns” as a co-worker of mine would say. Not a scrapbook of my occasional pity parties. I’m beginning to wonder though, if that’s cheating you, dear reader...and cheating myself. Because the fact of the matter is THE CREATIVE PROCESS IS MESSY. It includes feelings of self-doubt, hissy fits and pitty parties. I’m learning that I need to accept that. I need to live that. And I need to share that.

This gorgeously messy creative process is a part of my transformation process—my personal 180. And like the creative process, transformation is messy, too. So today, as Jamie Ridler Studios poses the Wishcasting Wednesday question, “What do you wish to transform,” three key areas come to mind:

1) My Blog, Project 180: I need to transform the format so that it isn’t so rigid. Some days may lend itself to a 500-word post. Other days may offer just enough time for a sentence—or quick phrase—that describes the day. And though I promise to always have a kernel of inspiration to offer, I’ll make a conscious effort to be more transparent, to share those mini-meltdowns, my occasional feelings of self-doubt and, most importantly, the lessons I’m learning through the “growing pains.”

2) My Overall Well-Being: More sleep. More mindful eating. More physical activity. More spiritual nourishment. More “unplugged” activities. More intentional relationships.

3) My Schedule: Right now, this is best described as a cacophony of chaos. I’ll be doing a little mind-mapping and journaling to whittle down the essentials and highest priories in both my business and personal life. Then it’ll be time to bust out the White Out and overhaul the planner. If there’s one major lesson I’ve learned so far in this journey, it’s that being busy doesn’t necessarily equate being effective.

Perhaps the greatest challenge in the transformation process is the patience it requires. And so, I leave you with the following quote:

“Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself.
Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them—every day begin the task anew.”
- Saint Francis de Sales

Live Creatively!


Your One Step:

For this activity you’ll want a piece of poster board, a marker, a glue stick and five photos of yourself from five different phases of your life. (You’ll be gluing these photos to the poster board, so you may want to make copies of the photos first.)

Glue the photos to the poster board in ascending order, making sure to leave a fairly generous amount of space between photos. Underneath each photo write your answers to the following questions:
  • What one word or phrase describes who I was in this stage of my life?
  • What was my personality like?
  • What were my likes?
  • What were my dislikes? 
  • What were my hopes and dreams at this age?
  • What were my fears at this age?
After you’ve answered those questions for each of the five photos, take a moment to reflect on the similarities and differences between your answers for those different stages of your life. You may want to journal about any discoveries or thoughts you come across during this part of the activity.

Now think of the significant events and people in your life that may have influenced who you were and what you became. Jot those names and events down in the space between the photos.

When your finished, consider these questions in your journal:
  • Do you see any patterns in your own personal transformation?
  • What feelings arise as you look at the various steps in your journey to the person you are now?
  • Do you see a pivotal moment or shift in your journey?
  • What person or event do you feel influenced your life the most and why?
  • What would you like to say to the “you” in each photograph?
  • What’s the overall feeling you have toward your journey and the person you’ve become? Is it love? Acceptance? Regret? Hope? Spend a few moments writing about that. If the overall feeling is negative, what steps might you take to create more self-love and acceptance?
Live Creatively!

4/6/2011 03:50:58 am

This is so beautifully written. Such truth and meaning to this post. I think we all live this way, in one shape or another. But... to be truthful, open, and honest to ourself about the trails & errors, not always easy. Thank you for sharing this. As you wish to transform, I wish this for you as well.

4/6/2011 03:55:36 am

Loving the creative exercise you have here (i'm using it for my wishcasting this week)...as you wish for yourself i wish for you also x

4/6/2011 05:17:08 am

As you wish for yourself, Sara, so do I wish for you as well.

4/6/2011 05:39:28 am

As Sara wishes for herself, I wish for her as well. I am so impressed with how much you have already accomplished. I think transforming and changing one's goals is definitely what makes the journey interesting. You are making such tremendous progress. I hope you will stop and take a breath each day to enjoy what your are building.

4/6/2011 05:42:09 am

This is so wonderfully written and I relate so much to this. No beating yourself up or feeling defeat as I look at your list and am in awe of all that you have accomplished!

As you wish for yourself, Sara, so I truly wish for you aslo.

4/6/2011 11:14:36 am

As you wish for yourself, so I wish for you also.

4/6/2011 11:29:14 am

As Sara wishes for herself, so I wish for her as well!

4/6/2011 01:32:31 pm

OMG you did ALL THAT ...you are a star and no failure!!!!!!!!!

You are right of course, because the butterfly must struggle out of the cocoon otherwise she won't be able to fly.

As you wish for yourself I so lovingly wish this for you also. xx

4/7/2011 02:20:18 am

You have accomplished SO much...so perfect using the words "cheifly have patience with yourself" in your quote. As you wish for yourself, so I wish for you!

p.s. i want to come back & try your "one step'!! bookmarking it!


Leave a Reply.