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Leaning into Joy

Over the summer I had been feeling a bit of guilt around not doing what I “should” be doing. Sometimes this was wanting to work on a personal project when I had orders and commissions I needed to finish. Sometimes it was spending time with friends when I felt I should be cleaning the house. However, as the seasons are shifting this fall, I’ve felt a shift in myself as well. I’ve been giving myself more grace to lean into the things that bring me joy.

I had this realization while I was trail running with my dog through a beautiful golden aspen grove on this crisp fall morning. As I ran down the hill, I realized that I was smiling ear to ear. I had missed trail running more than I realized, and the joy that I felt in that moment really helped to bring me back to myself a little bit. It also made me realize that the things that bring me joy ebb and flow throughout the year. Over the summer I really enjoyed competing in my first few CrossFit competitions. Now that it’s fall, my favorite and most fleeting season here in the mountains, I feel the pull to be out on the trail more than in the gym.

This feeling has also been with me in my art practice as well. Earlier in the year, I wasn’t feeling any inspiration to make new work. Painting felt especially difficult for me to sit down and do. That feeling continued through the busy summer market season. While I continued making work to keep up with the sales, I was mostly making things that I knew would sell at the markets. While there is nothing wrong with that, this is a business after all, I missed feeling that spark of inspiration and the urgency to try out a new idea.

As I’ve let myself shift and follow the joy in other areas of my life, I’ve allowed that to slip back into my art practice as well. I just completed one of my favorite paintings I’ve ever made, and it’s done in acrylics. Before, I often felt like I "should" stick to watercolors. That’s what I know. That’s what people know me for. What if no one liked my acrylic paintings? All these doubts were in the way, but I kept feeling more and more drawn to painting with acrylics. With that one success, a new fire of inspiration was lit in me for painting again. I have more ideas of things I want to paint now than I have time to execute. And again, I feel like I should be making the things I know will sell, like I should be doing something else. But, I’m leaning in to this feeling of joy I am getting through working on these new paintings, and I’m going to let myself chase that feeling. That’s where the magic is after all.

So, in this season of fleeting golden moments, cheers to chasing the things that make you feel like a fool, grinning while you run down a mountain.


Below are few photos of things that are brining me joy this year that I wanted to share with you! - My new favorite painting of winter park

- Celebrating our friends' wedding in Winter Park with my husband

- Getting out to paint with friends in this beautiful fall weather

- Finishing our welcome to Silverthorne mural

- Competing in my first CrossFit competition

- Trail running with this goofy dog

I'd love to hear what's bringing you joy in this season of life!

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1 Comment

positively enjoyed reading this

I, too, am leaning into things that bring me joy, and I loved the grinning ear to ear as your trail ran with Todd your goofy pup. I love that dog and you.

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