I created a book and I just got the physical proof to review and edit before I send it off into the world for its first days of school. This is a pretty amazing moment. From years of taking daily photographs at the start of the day and sharing them on various social channels to making a book it has been quite a journey. Being a few weeks away from launch I have this crazy calm and, more importantly, a sense of deep accomplishment.
I also have an ISBN number. Crazy, sexy ISBN.
I never meant to do a book. The photographs of the daily sunrise came from a place of wanting to share this amazing beauty. I decided to live on the beach and take advantage of being in South Florida because the ocean is such a calming source. Until it isn't. I will take the storms too. I have been taught, moment by moment, about change. About flux - about the immediate upheaval in the atmosphere and about the chance to do another day and be a better person. It has made me a better person (most of the time - still dealing with traffic rage).
The book came into focus because I wanted to share this daily inspiration to help people ease into a new day. The guys from the Minimalists say (paraphrasing here), "We all get the same 24 hours to create a masterpiece. Picasso, Michelangelo, all had the same 24 hours." That blew my mind intellectually. The sunrises back that up visually and viscerally.
Whatever our days hold, a job we love, or hate, or a day full of errands or care-taking, we need to find the soft spot that allows us to be fully present and in the moment. That sentiment can be a place of peace for us as it helps make our day brighter. The sunrise kicks that off for some people. What can we do to make the next 24 hours better? What compassion can we display for ourselves and for others?
So I made the book. Organizing quotes, the search for copyright laws, gathering the 6800 plus photos to choose from, figuring out the self-publishing world, and the writing made itself into the book. Add to that the re-writing between the Florida and California coasts. Add some more re-writing along with a sense of doing something of service brought this book into being. Doing my day job and my artwork and working out the other things that life throws at you, I made the book happen. Someone once told me that if she was overwhelmed with cleaning the house, she chose a corner and then chose whether to go left or right. I have used that example many, many times in my life. Whether it was making myself sit down and do artwork, this book or work on redesigning a website it is all about just getting something moving forward. Finding that small place of “okay” and moving outwards from there.
At the end of the day I hope the message comes out clearly. It is not productive to just say, "Walk away from your job and do whatever makes you happy." There is more and it comes from finding peace in your daily choices and becoming more caring and accepting of yourself. It is about being less judgmental. It comes down to being "okay" in the moment and not trying to compete with anyone. These things collectively bring about compassion. As I prepare to send this book out into the world, I want to take a moment to sit quietly with this accomplishment. It really has been a privilege to make this book and share these beautiful sunrises that nature gives us daily.
What will you do in your next 24 hours?