Making peace with perfection

For a good long while I've wanted to start a blogging business. My main 9-5 gig is in digital marketing for a $40 billion company so I definitely have the confidence to say that I know what I'm doing in this space. I lead a healthy lifestyle, it's picturesque and there's a lot of good style, adventure and beauty going on pretty much everyday. Bottom line: there's good content there and I know how to market (aka monetize it). But something has been holding me back! And I finally realized what it was the other day: perfectionism. Part of me is totally terrified of not being perfect. 

I am really interested in this whole layering smoothie thing that's taking over Instagram lately. I'd pretty much put my whole life in a Vitamix if I could so I love the idea of coming up with new - super healthy and jacked up - recipes. So I set out to create one of my own. I took a little mix of Goop, Alison Wu and Purely Kaylie and made an awesome combo of cashew cream and nice dream and layered them up! 

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At first, though, because they layers weren't all perfect and I didn't have these crazy toppings for it (like dragon fruit balls and fruit cut into star shapes) I was seriously questioning whether or not I should post this thing. I mean What. The. Eff. The struggle is real! I was actually questioning the worthiness of a picture of a smoothie. OMG. Just typing that makes me cringe. Because the thing is Goop has a staff of food stylists and Alison and Kaylie's full time job is Instagram - so I'm kind of in a different ball park right now and it's easy to get intimidated! Plus this was my first attempt at this EVER so I was feeling a little vulnerable about the whole thing. It feels easy to judge myself when every other image is edited to the moon and back.

So - I'm trying to turn over a new leaf with my blogging venture and Instagram life - loosen the reigns a little bit - allow things to be more 'real' and less 'staged'. Celebrate how freakin' raw life is - because in my opinion that's what really connects us. The rawness of this whole experience. 

A celebrity that I follow on the gram posted a pic of herself crying in bed last Sunday. She was just overcome and couldn't do it - and felt sad and worn down. It was my favorite thing she's ever posted! So there is realness in the madness - the tides are turning and who knows, maybe I can help the momentum and together we can all help social media be a little less perfect.

Keep it Simple

I  am guilty!

 

 Photo Credit: Donna Motta

Photo Credit: Donna Motta

Why do I try to overcomplicate everything? Sometimes, to just sit back, and let things just be… is really the answer.

 

I always see this in hindsight. My prayer is that I will begin to be mindful of this process while I’m in the heat of it all!

 

There is too much life to enjoy, to love and live without wasting precious moments with worrying… fretting… bickering… petty jealousies.

 

 Photo Credit: Donna Motta

Photo Credit: Donna Motta

The irony of life: zealous energy of youthful fire, never matches the seasoned, sometimes slower grace of older years. And that is a beautiful thing.

 

Even in that, I believe I have potential to become anxious. Neither stage is better: both offer beauty, and potential. Both offer incredible opportunities to grow and learn, embracing a constant flux of new changes.

 

Maybe I have too many things… too many clothes, or socks, or books, or whatever. Maybe these are problems that cant even classify as problems! This world is spinning , sometimes seeming out of control: and I no longer want to complicate that process with overthinking, or over speaking, or complaining, or using too much plastic, or fighting over pointless arguments.

 Photo credit: Donna Motta

Photo credit: Donna Motta

 

I wish to release every person to fully engage, and be the incredible, unique person God created them to be… each a necessary facet in the gem of humanity… really… I meant to say that!

 

So, with all that said in the face of shootings, and injustice, and threat of world destruction… I plan to end my day… wash my face… say my prayers… thank God I can speak freely, and have others to speak to… voice gratitude for my freedom, my home, my children and husband, my ability to walk and breathe today…

 Photo Credit: Donna Motta... my son who always encourages me to keep it simple!

Photo Credit: Donna Motta... my son who always encourages me to keep it simple!

 

And sleep peacefully.

 

Much gratitude and love!

 

Very Best,

 

Donna

Simplicity

Life is an extremely complex web of connections and layers and incredible things we will never understand completely...but it also has a beautiful simplicity to it - patterns and parallels, structure and alignment. It at times seems chaotic, but that lens can be shifted to see the order and experience the calm - and that is an incredible skill to practice.

We each tend to live life in the way that we view it - which for me is an interesting combination of a calm complexity. I can go with the flow and accept change into my life, but there is always so much going on, always more being added to the picture in both quantity and depth.

Sometimes I want to step back, relax, reflect, then do things differently.

I don't always end up allowing that desire to be fulfilled. 

But it is valuable to recognize it, and pull it back into attention from time to time - recognize my own patters, and start seeing them differently in me so they can also become different in the world around as well.

be the change you want to see in the world
— Mahatma Gandhi

It is simple, and it is true. We each are a microcosm of the universe - change within ourselves creates the potential for exponential change outwards beyond ourselves.

So, if I am going through life and recognize something I would like to change, I see it as in the interest of both me AND the totality of that around me to act upon that wish.

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In light of keeping simplicity in my life and moving forward with a better alignment to my truth..

I want to be more honest, open, and straightforward - no need for beating around the bush, worrying over my wording, or not speaking up out of fear of inadiquacy.

I believe that by speaking up, over time I will find my voice. I believe that as I express my ideas, more depth will be discovered. There is so much more value in the experience of trying than in the stagnancy of concern.

I want to connect ideas with action, and travel a path of growth. 

There are so many experiences to have in this world, and I want to step up to the challenge, embrace difference, and contribute to the disruption of the illusion that what has been is how it should be, or that what is easiest is whats best. 

Simplicity does not mean Easy.

and I am excited to see what comes next.

 Pocket Object Project -  Website ,  Instagram

Pocket Object Project - Website, Instagram

Thank you for following along with these 12 weeks of the Future is Female blog posts! I am so grateful for all the wonderful little and big things that have come out of this experience, and I believe much more lays ahead!

Please, feel free to contact me if you are interested in participating in the Pocket Object Project, as I plan to continue this after graduating (in exactly 1 month)!

With Love,

Madeline

The Future is Female (and male) and On Time

This week wraps up a nearly 4 month endeavor here called The Future is Female which kicked off with the new year and my new found focus on creating a future previously only dreamed of.  During this time I have been joined by many amazing female contributors, to whom I feel amazing gratitude.  We have acted as an accountability team and have all been empowered to write and publish our thoughts that might otherwise have gone unnoticed, even by each of us.  Each woman who has contributed their thoughts and images here has helped us all understand that there is magic and connection all around us.  A seemingly random group of women have found connection through me which just lights me right up!  

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These last two weeks have presented me with a particular challenge and a deep realization that I suck (or have sucked in the past) at time management.  Time is the trickster (last week’s theme).

For 13 weeks my post day has been Sundays - and as you might (or might not) know, I live on a remote mountainside with less than mediocre internet access.  In all these 13 weeks it has not happened once that my post was scheduled by the end of my workweek on Friday from my studio, where internet access is stellar (and I do my WORK).  

Every. Single. Week. I have rushed around on either Saturday or Sunday, (or both) scrambling to get my post up at my allotted time to set the stage for the rest of the week and my wonderful (patient and understanding) collaborators.  

Today the clear realization of this, and how this lack of forthright focus to tackle time management has haunted me as long as I can remember.  Today is a new day for me.  A straightforward, logical shift is all that is required to prioritize timeliness to the commitments I make.    This task is simple - AND this week’s theme is Simplicity.  I think I’m ready.

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In addition to this morning’s epiphany, The Future is Female has taught me that, while the future is certainly female for about 51% of the world’s population, there is another 49% who are excluded by the title I chose for our collaborative column.  Now, taken, I get that there is a super exciting and seemingly global shift happening from a place where men (and especially white men) have been allowed to lead the way for so much of our history.  I support this shift and plan to contribute to its momentum everyday.  It is, however, unfair to say that the future is purely female.  We all know that this is an impossibility.  What is possible and maybe more difficult than a simple exclusionary blanket statement is to take responsibility for the cultural conditioning of our male counterparts to act and be and be allowed to run the show.  As mothers, sisters, wives, and friends, let us encourage and allow our sons, brothers, husbands, and male friends to be in touch with emotions, able to cry, admit wrong-doing and error, find comfort in being primary childcare providers, earning less than their spouses and on and on and on.  Let us not expect to be cared for.  Let us challenge the myth of male/female gender roles to which we have grown accustomed.  Let us raise up our eloquent voices, teaching others to listen by our example, validating our thoughts, contributing to the new age of equality, understanding, acceptance, sharing and kindness.  Let us lead the way to a place where empathy and compassion are the norm.  Where bullying and misogyny are overcome with well heard and welcomed debate, clear and empowered voices speaking kind and unrelenting truth to any bullshit.  Let us not harbor, focus on, or promote divisive behavior.  Let us work toward a place where we are all able, happy, and allowed to be our best selves, sharing our gifts and nurturing each other.  It starts within.  Like my morning’s epiphany, this just doesn’t seem to be all that complicated.  Who’s in?

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Tricks of the Trade

Joints, hair follicles, skin cells, lenses, ear drums, teeth and gums, lips, hands and feet...

 

All mischievous tricksters that hide around corners, and peek from mirrors at me; as I, a vibrant young woman, go about my day!

 

It’s both beautiful and mysterious; I feel so young and unchanged as time marches on and over my exterior.

 Photo Credit: Hope Motta- Arcadia Wildlife Reserve

Photo Credit: Hope Motta- Arcadia Wildlife Reserve

 

My heart remains hopeful and filled with joy. My mind remains filled with energy and inspiration. I even still have flying dreams; where I simply spread my arms and push off, and I’m soaring weightlessly above all below me. I spin, and soar... then dive down and catch myself last minute, to regain fluid altitude... without losing a breath, or missing a beat.

 Photo Credit: Donna Motta  Artist Credit: Laurel Joy Graceson   

Photo Credit: Donna Motta

Artist Credit: Laurel Joy Graceson

 

 

I wake from these dreams smiling, filled with peace. I then stretch, and try to stand, and realize suddenly I am still weighted down with... me. It’s a lot like getting out of a pool after swimming for awhile. 

 

I love to renew my mind; to meditate and be restored. I love to think, and have fellowship with vibrant, loving souls who inspire me; filling me with new vision!

 

My physical body; however, feels differently about much of what I love to do. I spend a great deal of my energy commanding my legs, arms, lungs, heart, and hands to obey my heart’s desires to roam and explore.

 

I spend an even greater amount of my energy commanding my mind to stop freaking out, and refocus on positive hope, and gratitude. Chronic diagnosis can also be tricksters... overwhelming us with doubt and fear for our possible future if we aren’t mindful to not let negative thoughts carry us away!

 

 Photo Credit: Selfie! 

Photo Credit: Selfie! 

 

The honest truth is I am here this day to enjoy my daughter’s hug, or my son’s joke, or my husband’s company. I can watch a sunset with my youngest when she calls me to the porch. “Mom, come and see something beautiful with me.”

 

I can watch my middle daughter create her incredible art; I can help my son fundraise for his cross country bike trip. I am here! I don’t care what my body, or my mind tell me to fear... I am here!

 

My spirit is indeed willing. God is so good to me! My strength, my shield, my comforter... I sometimes, so need comfort!

 

So, I will put aside all thoughts filled with fear or uncertainty; and trade them for thoughts of hope and encouragement!

 

I will envision myself, and then call myself out as loved, and healed, and strong, and beautiful, and safe!!

 

I will trick the tricksters!

 Photo Credit: Donna Motta-  Familia! 

Photo Credit: Donna Motta-  Familia! 

 

I, the ultimate trickster!

 

I will use the same tools of thought, and language to align myself with a hopeful, blessed outcome here in my present!

 

 Photo Credit: Donna Motta

Photo Credit: Donna Motta

I will dance beneath, and then gently fly over the full round moon. I will join the swirl of gentle night clouds, and rise, swathed in stunning jeweled mist, with the early morning sun. I will radiate brightly in cloudless blue sky; the warmth of my light illuminating tall, softly swaying grasses, filled with fragrant meadow colors and miniature gossamer dragons.

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 Photo Credit: Donna Motta

 

I will see my sons and daughters mature, and grow; and build lives and families of their own.

 

I am joyful.

 

I will be here.

 

I am.

 

I will be.

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 Photo Credit: Donna Motta

Artist Credit: Jenna Giorgi

 

May we each grasp the  beautiful, authentic truth of every moment.

 

May each trickster be revealed as the tiny bearer of falsehood that they may be.

 

Much love,

Donna

The human experience is a trickster. It is a lens that distorts the Truth.

The human body and mind forces certain dispositions on the entity, turning experience into an interpretation of distortions.

It is like looking through a Pocket Object. The glass form is a transparency that cannot be seen alone without also including the reflections of its environment. What is seen also depends on the elements within the form itself, what makes up this object both on the exterior and interior.

Furthermore, each person who looks at the Pocket Object will experience something differently because of their individual make up – their physical abilities, interests, mood…the associations they will make based on previous experiences, and their relationship to the person, place, or form itself.

Humans see and are seen based on these things as well. It is part of the human experience – the way we move through life and form our reality.

This isn’t to say that the human experience isn’t valid. It is also a part of the truth…but there seems to be so much to gain by seeing the lens itself, understanding it is there - rather than believing the things we see and experience are the Ultimate Truth.

But tricksters are wise - they play tricks for a reason. 

I believe the human experience is something like a challenge, a code, or maybe like rules in a game...

We are all players in one way or another, constantly making moves that will impact the playing field for everyone else.

Not everyone has the same intentions within this game - some people are competitive, some just want to have a good time, some were forced to play but would rather be doing something else...but everyone is in the same boat with having the opportunity to respond to some things, and having to play according to certain rules of the game.

Sometimes it takes a while before the game of life starts to become more clear - tricks of the game are exposed, people give hints along the way, certain bridges have been crossed and won't have to be crossed again...

I went in two different directions on this blog post...I could probably get a lot deeper into them if I continued writing for hours...but I have three weeks until my thesis exhibition, so for now I will leave it with this!

I am curious to hear what your thoughts are...and what analogies you like to use in your life!

And just to throw it in here because I think analogies are a great way to recognize the tricksters of the human experience...

Within a big box of tomatoes, a few rotten ones have an overwhelming presence.

If no one sorts through the box to take those rotten ones out, the whole box will go bad quicker than before.

To save them, it takes a belief that something good will come out of the effort of sorting through the box.

Something very important to keep in mind as well...rotten tomatoes still make good compost.

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Lots of Love to You

I hope you find the wonderful things that exist in the day and the night.

~Madeline 

 

How Deceiving

I have been all about self discovery this past month and this past week was no different. I found it interesting to realize how often we give in to fantasy. I am in hospitality at the moment and corporations in America are solely focused on the ultimate consumer. I found myself astounded this week at the level at which we as people check out and allow ourselves to spend so much of our hard earned cash on frivolous activity. A parent spent 3,000 dollars the other day on her daughters 3rd birthday. 

THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS!

Another man spent half a million on his son’s 10th birthday. When asked if he wanted to try platters, more music, more lights, more play, the answer was yes, yes and yes.

 

We the influencers are trained to do this. We are trained to sell you items in such a way where we can appeal to your subconscious mind and make you believe that you want that item you in reality do not need. Because the biggest issue I find we have as humans is allowing the world to blind us. Trick us. Make us believe that if we take this pill, or buy this deal we can be happier, more desirable, better looking, and even skinner than we already are. It is the biggest lie and the one of the scariest things. Because we choose to believe there is actually something wrong with us. When in reality everything in our society is geared towards “Enhancing is”. Somehow we are not good enough. It is the saddest lie we have today and I refuse to have no part in it. I have started doing small things for myself. This new lifestyle for example. Eating healthy, working out, making my own choices. Watching the water, making time for myself. These things remind it is okay to not be perfect. I don’t need to pretend or try to be something else. If God thought there was something wrong with me he would not have made me myself. I take deep pride in that. I believe you should too.