Christina Rosalie

Posts from the “Taking Note + Taking Action” Category

A few things I’ve been up to lately

Posted on March 11, 2014

Giraffe - Christina Rosalie
Hello friends!
I’ve been so busy lately I haven’t had nearly as much time as I would like to stop in here and share stories.

Here are a few things I’ve been up to lately:

:: Writing on Medium

:: Creating a new series of art pieces (this giraffe is one, in progress)

:: Planning a studio sale for the end of March (sign up if you’d like to get first dibs.)

:: Working on a few very cool client projects. I especially loved helping to launch this shop into the world.

:: Reading the Little House series out loud to Bean (and feeling very glad I’m not that kind of pioneer.)

:: Watching Sprout become an amazing artist.

:: Reading this book, and this one.

:: Listening to new music on Beats.

:: Writing every morning in a notebook (I’ve loved responding to these prompts though I haven’t had time to share much here.)

:: Doing a 20 minute vinyasa routine every morning

:: Drinking tea (instead of coffee), skipping alcohol, going to bed earlier, and taking a zillion supplements… and feeling like my adrenals are saying thank you. {Hello energy! How I’ve missed you}

:: Walking out onto the icy lake with the boys (it still feels bizarre and precarious, but I love all the wide expanses.)

:: Making big plans.

:: Really hankering for spring (and we have many inches of snow in the forecast this week!)

What you’ve been up to this March? Crazy how time is whirling by these days.

37 before 37

Posted on January 29, 2014

Here’s to the glorious possibility of another year here on this beautiful Earth.

My annual birthday list — This year it’s all about self-care and creative focus and play. I’m especially committed to #3, #7, #19, and #31.
 

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1. Strengthen my core.
2. Visit as many museums as possible. 5, minimum.
3. Work slowly and steadily on producing pieces for publication. Let that work inform the slow and steady work of writing my second book.
4. Attend a writing conference.
5. Start swimming regularly again.
6. Spend time on the Pacific ocean.
7. Morning writing, daily.
8. Yoga, daily.
9. Make time to read the Sunday Times in its entirety once a month.
10. Make a driftwood mobile with Bean + Sprout.
11. Write a love letter to each of my boys.
12. Make a sock elephant with Sprout.
13. Read at least 52 books this year.
14. Buy a record player.
15. Make + give away survival packs for the homeless.
16. Send pretty cards for no reason.
17. Finally watch The Godfather.
18. Go to the circus.
19. Make time for doing absolutely nothing.
20. Let miracles happen.
21. Find a mentor.
22. Be a mentor.
23. Set Bean up with an international pen pal.
24. Get a facial.
25. Use a standing desk.
26. Take a paragliding lesson.
27. Go on 12 super sexy dates with my guy.
28. Spend some time out doors everyday.
29. Finally host an interview series on my blog.
30. Paint at least one of big canvasses I’ve had in my studio for years.
31. Get 8 hours of sleep every night.
32. Spend an evening star watching my guy this summer.
33. Have a picnic with friends.
34. Learn a new water sport: kayaking, paddle boarding, surfing.
35. Hike more, with friends.
36. Go bright blonde for a while.
37. Spend an afternoon on a sail boat.

A record of unfinished things {Just One Paragraph 23/30}

Posted on August 14, 2013

 
 

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Tonight my heart rides unsteadily in the hull of my ribs across the waves of all the unfinished pieces and fragments and questions that remain from the day. The arrival of new friends and the disappearance of old ones. The half-packed boxes strewn in every room. The half-written emails sitting in my inbox. The audio notes I take on my phone that show up as emails, skeletons of ideas, lurching back into focus. Pattern recognition. Inklings. Story fragments.

Here are a few recent note titles:

Take down the lights.
It’s about repetition.
UK Art Everywhere Project
It’s so late the next day has already begun.
Bear humphing around looking for Fox.
She wants her way a lot. She keeps secrets.
There is a woman who smiles with gaps between her teeth and her minivan in the morning…
Heritage movie theater ads.
Meyer lemons, eggplant, almonds, dill.
Surfaces and the first day of seeing in a new city.

How do you keep track of unfinished things?

And how can you tell when things are finished? Friendships, stories, ideas, dreams?

Stuff I’ve learned while starting out, carrying on, or attempting something great:

Posted on August 7, 2013

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
photo (59){Not Really A Paragraph 17/30}


:: Repeat this mantra: There is enough. Enough resources. Enough people. Enough audience share. Enough.

:: Ask: how can I help?

:: Join forces. Take people to coffee. Listen.

:: Listen some more.

:: You’ll make mistakes. Many of them. Admit them, apologize and then move on.

:: Move on for real. Don’t let emotional stuff become an energy drain.

:: Know what it is you’re actually offering, or doing. Why does it matter?

:: Know who cares about what you’re offering. Who does it matter to?

:: Treat people like people, not like numbers or features that increase klout.

:: Spend some time considering what it’s like to be inside your audience’ head. What motivates them?

:: Reward loyalty and awesomeness in kind, with real things like handwritten notes, surprise discounts, chocolate.

:: Get over this fact right now: there will be competitors, haters, and jealous fools. Consider them a sign that you’ve arrived.

:: Be humble. Ask for help. Admit that you don’t know.

:: Be generous. Share what you do know. Share your process. Share your best tips, tricks, insights and understanding. It will make you richer, not poorer.

Just this:

Posted on July 6, 2013

fieldAndSky


“The Summer Day”

I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
 
— Mary Oliver

Eventually you will make a decision (or reminders to myself)

Posted on May 31, 2013

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Eventually you will make a decision to stay indoors or to venture out, not letting the rain stop you. Pull on a rain. Rain pants for the kids. Boots. And go out into the smudged world, with its falling sky and imperfect roads torn loose with too much rain.

Eventually you will make a decision to give in to the sudden way the PMS creeps up and everything comes toward you like a thinly veiled jab, and the entire world seems to be making it personal; or you shake it off, pull on running clothes reluctantly, make a new running mix, and hit the treadmill hard. It will takes a while for the tempo to change you, but eventually it will. Your grateful pulse will remind you what it means to be alive, lungs raw with breath, feet pounding.

Eventually you will make a decision keep pushing yourself past your limits, or take care of yourself by asking for help. By drawing boundaries. By saying no even after you said yes, because in the moment that was easier and now you’re faced with letting yourself down or letting someone else down. Because the truth is other people’s disappointment isn’t your problem, even though you’ve programmed yourself very insidiously to think that it is.

Eventually you will make a decision to forget your craft, or to zero in what you love most about it, truing to it fiercely above the urgent, the insistent, the loud demands that are yelling like a bully in your ear. Eventually it will be up to you to decide to turn a blind eye on the other things, and just pick this one thing. This one thing that feels important to you. That feels like the work you love, and just do it for an hour. Imperfectly. Even if it means you’ll be up a creek later. Even if it means there will be hell to pay. Even if it means the sky will fall.

Because eventually it will. It will pour, and eventually roads will wash away. Eventually moods and hormones will catch up with you, or sleep deprivation will bring you to your knees. People will invariably be needy needy and self serving and impatient, and eventually to-do lists and deadlines and must-dos and should-dos will pile up like a angry, thumping, insistent mob inside your head.

Eventually you will make the decision: to let circumstance define you, or to define your circumstance.

And the thing is?

It’s up to you to give in, or head out.


What will you decide?

To seek balance, and find ourselves instead in motion

Posted on April 23, 2013

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We’re running. He’s ahead of my by a half a stride, and I can feel the way this makes me run harder, then harder still, trying to catch up, to syncopate, to be in step. Finally I ask him, “Where do you see me now? Next to you or behind?”

“Next to me,” he says, zero hesitation.

I sprint a step ahead so we’re in line, his feet moving in time with mine now, our knees and feet matching in gate. “How about now?” I ask.

“Ahead.”

I put my arm out like the wing of an airplane, perpendicular to my side, it brushes lightly against his chest. We’re exactly in line.
“I’m beside you now,” I say, “But I wasn’t before.”

“No way!” he’s incredulous. A dozen small finches lift up from alongside the road where the yellow coltsfoot is finally blooming like hundreds of small suns.

We’ve been running together for years, side by side, more or less in synch, our strides matching save for this irregularity of peripheral vision. Him, just a little bit ahead. Because of the way I’m strung together like a lanky marionett, my legs are nearly as long as his (though his torso is a good 6 inches longer than mine.) I’m made of legs, then ribcage, not much in between. And because of this we’ve always run together more or less side by side, even at a sprint.

Still, this is the first time I’ve bothered to ask if that half a stride distance ahead of is something he’s been doing on purpose.

Most of the time it doesn’t bother me. I like the challenge. I like to run hard, feel my lungs burn and my quads heat with the sure fire of muscle motion. But there are some days, like this one, when all I want is for the effortlessness of togetherness. Neither behind nor ahead, neither pushing, nor being pushed.

He laughs now, his voice ringing out into the cold spring air. The sky is overcast but bright. The pebbles on the road gleam white and copper and ocher in between the soft places where our soles sink in the mud. The fields are greening. The shadows growing long in the gloaming.

For the rest of the run we try it. Side by side. It’s such a subtle shift, if I weren’t paying attention I might not have noticed it at all. They way my body stops pushing. The way things feel suddenly at ease, in balance.


It’s so easy, to let habit become fact. To let inertia shape the channel through which your energy flows. To settle into the way things have always been, even if it no longer feels in balance.

It’s easy for this to happen especially when you’ve been at something for a long time (13 years for us). When the days stack up full of things that need doing and work comes home for the weekend; when dishes wait on the kitchen counter and alone-time and time together are both in short supply.

Harder to bring attention to breath and pulse and heart. To take notice of the way things make you feel; to dial in and really listen. And then to ask, to reach, to wonder, aloud and together until there is a stirring of energy. Activation. Attention. Motivation.


What if instead of seeking balance, we found ourselves anew in motion over and over again?