Susannah Conway’s month long challenges in December and April and August are some of my favorite things. She comes up with a list of daily prompts, and responding can be as simple as taking a picture, tagging it, and posting it to Instagram. Sometimes, I post them to Facebook too, sometimes I write a short response to the post to go with the picture, and sometimes I even post them here on my blog. This year, Susannah described the April Love challenge this way,
For the last two years the April Love photo challenge has been an invitation to explore self-love, self-care and self-compassion in a community setting. For 2017 I’m practicing my own self-care by going back to basics for this round. There are no emails and no pressure to keep up. No need to do anything other than get involved as much or as little as you want. Share your photos in the Facebook group, on Instagram or on your blog if you want to add some community to the mix, but it’s certainly not a requirement. I’ve created a list of photo prompts to be explored throughout the month, a mix of straightforward things-to-shoot and a few more thoughtful prompts, so if you’re not sure how to illustrate the latter try simply sharing a moment from your day. Use the challenge as a way to give yourself ten minutes to notice your surroundings and take a breath. Keep it simple. Enjoy digging into your world with your camera and maybe spend a bit of time in your journal, too. Or not! There really are no rules.
Most of the month, you can find my responses to the prompts on Instagram. For now, here’s the first two.
Blue: My physical therapy folder, “Get better. Be your best.” Starting with plantar faciitis in my right foot almost two years ago, I’ve been on a journey to heal from the damage of a fall off a horse at 18 and all the years I pushed and punished and pummeled my body, thinking I could hate it into a shape that was loveable and good, with no consideration for health and well-being, no compassion. Three amazing women have guided me so far, stuck with me through the pain and confusion and frustration, never let me give up. I’m so grateful.
Favorite view: Sleepy, sweet, content dogs. This was seven years ago. Sam was just a baby, and we thought Dexter was only middle aged, but actually only had three years left. The good news about love is the same as the bad: how much you love them is equal to how much it hurts to lose them – big love = big hurt. I know this, and still I invite it, again and again.