Growing Pains [Day 17/365]

The first time I say things, it can take an hour. Sometimes, longer.

To make for this, I like to find ways to say things simply the next time around and that’s where thoughts like this come from.

Day 17/365: Sheralyn Pratt
To grow is to leave an old form behind to embrace the shape of something new.

Whether you’re growing as a person or decluttering your home, or trying a new hobby, or doing anything that requires growth, I think it’s good to remember that you need to shed habits, thoughts, and even physical things on the path to getting where you’re going. And there’s nothing sad about that.

It’s all just part of the process of revealing the authentic you.

Merry-Go-Round in Time [Day 16/365]

A critique I get from editors is that I can be a bit too economical when dishing out words. Today’s meme is an example of where I feel I might be guilty of that.

So let me explain.

Based on my life’s experience so far, I’ve always felt that there was a merry-go-round aspect to accepting different challenges in life. If you really need to learn something, you don’t get to dodge it like a bullet and be done with it forever.

No. The universe doesn’t work that way.

If you need to learn something and dodge the lesson like a ninja, that lesson is going to start orbiting until you figure out how to stop attracting it. So, like a merry-go-round, lessons start circling around and keep giving us more riding opportunities.

Sometimes, we learn things quickly. Other times, it takes a couple of tries — or maybe our whole lives — before wisdom kicks in. And, once it does, it’s easy to bemoan that things didn’t happen sooner in retrospect. But the truth is that it took exactly how long it needed for you to accept something new, and nobody knows that better than you … even if you’d wish to alter your learning curve in retrospect.

After all, it’s easy to critique a race when you’re standing on the finish line; it’s quite another to tell someone who’s mid-race to just be done already.

We all like to hurry progress, but it takes the time that it takes to get on and back off the merry-go-round. It just does. Because it takes the time that it takes because everything is learned in time.

Beacons & Harbors [Day 15/365]

Today’s thought is not new by any stretch of the imagination. It’s pretty much evergreen across generations:

Stand tall and shine bright in ways that make it easy to find you.

It’s literally what you’re here to do. It’s what everyone is here to do. We’re supposed to combine our individual glories and work together to find magical ways to build a world we want to live in.

Or … not. We can also be petty, point fingers, hide our beauty behind a wall of defensive tactics, and weaponize our shadows.

It’s amazing how often humanity chooses the latter. It really is. Yet to leave the darkness behind, all we need to do is start shining our light and, like a lighthouse in a storm, be a beacon.

It’s that simple. Now if only it were just as easy 😉

Snow Drops in Red [Day 14/365]

Drawing of snow drops by Sheralyn Pratt. Day 14 of 365

In all my life, this might be my favorite thing I’ve ever drawn — not because it’s oh-so-great that I won’t be revisiting it later in a second draft.

Because I’ll definitely be doing that.

The reason I love this picture is for all the things I learned while drawing it. I won’t lecture you on what that is because what I need to learn and what you need to learn may be different. And the only way to learn and improve is to do the thing and keep doing it.

Just like writing, art takes the time that it takes and there often aren’t shortcuts, just better tools and techniques. And I currently have terrible tools (for what I need) and rudimentary techniques.

Let’s see how much of that changes in the next year, shall we?

If you have any recommendations, feel free to share!

Meeting Strangers [Day 13/365]

Every stranger you meet is a chance to see yourself through new eyes. - Sheralyn Pratt

I don’t talk about it often (although, maybe I should), but I’ve spent an actual year of my life on walkabouts, driving around the United States with a dog and no plan.

Most mornings, I woke up, picked a direction, and went.

Other mornings, I had a place to stay and no urgency to leave, so I explored.

I went all sorts of places and visited dozens of cities, and you know what was common about every place I visited? They were all filled with genuine people doing their best at this thing we call living.

A year on the road as a single female could be a dangerous proposition. I’m sure that is some locations and environments being alone with a dog could have been terrifying.

But it wasn’t for me. Wherever I went, I was safe. Sometimes, I was even overtly watched over. I had countless conversations with innumerable people on topics I never would have explored on my own. And, with each conversation, my view of the world got bigger and bigger, along with my sense of where I stood in that world.

It’s for this reason I say that every stranger you meet is a chance to see yourself through new eyes. Because it’s true.

And everyone you meet has a message for you.

Falling Apart or Coming Together [12/365]

So often we say we’re barely “holding it together” but how often do we stop to examine exactly what we’re holding together, and why?

Things are meant to evolve. To hold things in a constant state actually goes against nature. It’s why clean people have to clean every day — and, often, more than that.

Because things like to be in a natural state; structure must be forced. And some of that structure may serve you and some of that structure might slave you.

So in moments when all your efforts and plans seem to slipping through your fingers, take a moment to ponder this simple question.

Day 12/365 by Sheralyn Pratt
As yourself: Are you really falling apart, or are you finally coming together?

Happy Equinox [Day 10/365]

No lies: If I wasn’t posting everyday, today’s entry would never see the light of day. It’s not what I’m going for, but I feel like it might be a draft that shows me enough of what I did wrong to push me in the right direction.

Sometimes, you’ve gotta do things wrong to see what needs to be changed to make things right, amiright?

So here you go: Learn from me here.

Man, learning to art when you’re older (and have a mental benchmark for how good you should be at something) is challenging. I recommend immersing yourself in art while you’re young and playing with it then — you know, if that’s an option for you. 😉 If not, I hope my attempts make you brave to try something of your own.

Today’s experiment: an image from my neck of the woods of a little spot of vegetation topped off with the 9/22 phase of the moon.

If you don’t know this about me yet, I am far more interested in the luminaries and stars in the sky than I am in the lights and stars of Hollywood, and you will likely see aspects of that in much of the work that I do. After all, what better bedrock is there for world building than the clockwork of the world we already live in?

Sketch of moon with vegetation

Morning Thought: The Game of Life [Day 9/365]

Happy Autumnal Equinox — one of two days a year when the night and day are equal lengths. If you have a chance to get outside, I would go for it. It’s a beautiful day.

Day 9’s contribution is posting a day late because yesterday was a writing day that I didn’t want to cut short. So you’ll get two posts today as I catch up.

This time delay brings you another Morning Thought from this morning. It may be a bit cumbersome to read on your first try because it is best read with a slight Shakespearean stage lilt.

But I liked it, so I pass it on to you … on top of that weird background from a few days ago that I’m still trying to figure out how I feel about.

Do you find it weirdly likeable, like I do, or does it drive you crazy? I’d be curious to know.

In the meantime, may the Game of Life treat you well and may we always remember how to “fun”. 😂

The Game of Life, by Sheralyn Pratt
All the world's a stage 
we come from and wide 
to play on; the challenge:
To see if we still know how to 
play by the time we're done, 
or if we get lost in life's maze 
and forget how to "fun".

And Jesus Wept [Day 8/365]

These are the first words that played in my mind when I woke up this morning, and I wanted to document them.

I know these phrases don’t go together in scripture. I also know I’m taking a few liberties with the phrasing, but I think the story of how Jesus wept for Lazarus before he raised him — knowing he would raise him — is a wonderful dynamic to reflect on because it shows how Jesus acknowledged a reality before he changed it.

Jesus didn’t walk into town, see everyone crying, and tell them to stop because everything would shortly be fine. He didn’t discount their sorrow because there was a miracle on the horizon.

First, he acknowledged the current reality first. He bore record of his feelings for the untimely loss of Lazarus by mourning his friend’s death with his entire being. And I’ll be so bold as to say that one of the reasons he did this because there is a time for all things and a purpose under heaven.

And, sometimes, there’s a time to truly mourn a loss even if you have faith that the sun will come out tomorrow or there’s a miracle on the horizon.

Even if you have faith things will be better down the road, there is a time to acknowledge the present and release its anguish out of your body, rather than tell yourself things will be better in the future and you need to be strong now — thereby, internalizing the sorrow and carrying it with you as an unprocessed weight to be dealt with ( or not dealt with ) in the future.

Allow yourself to process things as they come and bear witness to how the circumstances are impacting you.

Because there is a time and season for all things, and a purpose under heaven. A time to weep and a time to rejoice, and for each moment to be unabashedly pure, based on the reality of your circumstances. For this is how we are able to live presently in the now, and authentically across time.

That was my morning thought this morning and I didn’t want it to disappear like a dream. So I share it with you and hope it serves you as well.