Looking at the time on my clock, I feel anxiety rise to the surface. It’s already 10:00 in the morning and I’m still sitting in my pajamas, aimlessly scrolling through Facebook. My tea is cold in my favorite cup. Two hours past the time I usually take a morning walk, I’ve missed the window of neighborhood stillness. Island sun sets in a vast expanse of marble blue but my soul is cloudy.

Singing has turned into mumbling over the past few weeks. I’m exhausted.

But time is a bully, only if I allow it. Covering up three days of dirty hair under a ball cap, I exchange my pajamas for sweats and take an impromptu jaunt with my camera strapped over my shoulder.

Fall brings a pleasant shift from summer’s brightness, a beautiful slant illuminating what was hidden and washed out, the same way a walk clears the cobwebs of insular thinking.

I used to think that taking walks, practicing photography and spending hours curled up on the couch with the treasure of story in my lap is an extravagance of riches. But I don’t believe that anymore.

It’s not irresponsible to cultivate the passion God creates within each one of us.

Looking through my lens brings perspective and reading the pages of a good book cures anxiety and listlessness. These are some of the non-negotiables in my make-up. Things I do that untangle the knots of wishful thinking. They aren’t electives, they are my life blood.  And God knows that.

When I push off my non-negiotables, trading them for what makes me feel less guilty, I become a vapor of my former self.

Meandering bike rides and walks, photography, reading a variety of books, and writing down my daily thoughts in a journal are part of my customized prescription for wholehearted living.

A daily dose transforms my humming into singing.

I’m noticing how leaves cascade like a chameleon carpet on the pier. And look, there’s a raccoon crossing the road, galloping into the forest. Light and shadow are no longer wallflowers on my porch; they’re doing the waltz as the world tilts.  The view looks good from here.

What are your non-negotiables for wholehearted living?

Some art  from the collection informing my thinking this week (outside of The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown of course):

rb31daysdeepbutton2Join us in the comments and for further discussion at Redemptions Beauty Book Club on The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown as we talk this week about Letting Go of Exhaustion as a Status Symbol & Productivity as Self-Worth  and  Letting Go of Anxiety as a Lifestyle. This is day 22 of 31 Days of Letting Go in the Deep End. Find out more here and join us for daily posts delivered to your inbox by adding your email address to Subscribe in the sidebar. It only takes a few seconds and it’s painless, I promise.