My Book Went Live

 

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My book, Zen and the Art of the Sunrise, went live last night and this morning... and I am super excited. More than anything, I made this thing happen and it came from wanting to share the issues that I faced when I decided I wanted to leave my job so that I could do freelance to give myself more flexibility of time to create my art.

I started taking sunrise pictures almost 3 years ago and it was not until May that I had the idea of turning it into a book. Two things made this happen: 1 - I was able to use my iPhone photographs and 2 - more importantly, I thought about what got me through a pretty dark time when making my decision to leave my job. It was this notion of noticing what was happening in the moment. That my past was in the past and my future was a place that did not exist. For a place that did not exist, I was giving it a lot of attention and anxiety. The sunrises were a visual representation that I had another day in front of me and to enjoy that moment when the sun is rising. Those thoughts made me slowly build up the courage to go out on my own and even more interestingly, made me locate faith in myself.

The thing that gets lost in these types of messages is what if you can’t leave your job? I work in the internet/online industry and it is pretty progressive in its thinking about working from home. It is a strong consultant model. I create good user experiences for websites. That gave me the flexibility and access to clients that allowed me to jump from the 9-5 lifestyle. Art has always been a priority and the jump gave me a sense that my days could be structured the way I wanted them to be. So my quotes from the book, the sunrises and the feedback from social media came into alignment in terms of pulling this together to share with others.

Each day we get 24 hours. We are here to serve and we come with a unique vision. This book is a culmination of these concepts and represent where I am right here, right now. I want someone to be inspired by the images and the words and find a little peace in what they need to do that day. We can’t all quit our jobs but that is fine. Those moments of peace where the past and the future are not in our heads will make things okay and help diminish the anxiety we may feel wondering what out there is better than what is right in front of us. I truly hope this book allows a little bit of peace for someone.

~b

Zen and the Art of the Sunrise

Amazon Kindle Version --> 

Amazon Print Version -->

The Proof is in, well, the Proof

 

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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? 

~ b 

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