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Marking Seven Years

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I wondered that the date marking my seven years of blogging passed me by. Silently. Without any fanfare or notice. Have I become so immersed in practice that the measures and milestones are no longer worthy of celebration?

Every day is a new day. And each day - I begin again. There's no goal. There's no destination. There's no prize to be won. There's no end or finish line.

There's just this. My showing up day after day - regularly and routinely and without interruption - looking and seeing....noticing and feeling. Creating. Only this moment...this day...this now.

And so - this is....

* * *

There's so much I could share with you about the discipline of practice. The fruits of a daily one such as this that I practice with my camera's lens has resulted in over 2500 published images....and that doesn't begin to count those that have yet to see the light of day. The number both astounds and confounds me. It overwhelms.

The fruits of my almost 15-year daily yoga practice are not so quantifiable. That practice  - like this thing that I do here - has changed me. I can no longer remember who I was. Once.

It's not one without the other or the other without one. It's the combination of the two  - the photography and the yoga...along with my daily writing practice - that's brought me here.

Now. Today. Seven years after.

I could speak to the changes in my external world. How photography has evolved. How blogging and social media have become the chosen medium thru which to show and share. How yoga was once a little-known (in this western world) meditative..contemplative practice. How it's popularity has expanded and exploded so that its teachings have become a part of our everyday consciousness and conversations.

I could speak to the changes in my family's life. To the three children who were once so central to everything and all. Grown and gone. Living lives of their own.

And - of course - I could speak to the many many changes within. Now deeply embedded....rooted in my head and heart and soul. All this has become a part of me.

But - what I really want to speak to are the lessons learned. The unexpected ones. The ones no one ever mentions. Those ones that are earned and  learned thru the passage of time and experience and -  yes - practice.

The gift is - that there is no end. Practice is the intention...and the intention is the practice. There is no other purpose.

And yet - I've learned - that goals are an important and necessary part. That a creative practice without any means of measuring progress can be disorienting. That setting a goal and working towards its attainment  provides an important sense of accomplishment and completion. Finishing a project...crossing a finish line...reaching an end - just plain feels good. Perhaps the prize is in deciding whether this day's practice is for the sole purpose of practice...or when that same day's practice is a means to an end.

Perhaps - one of the most important lessons I've learned -  is simply this. That the bravest...boldest...kindest part and piece of the discipline of practice - is knowing when to choose rest.

I'll be thinking a lot about that as I begin  - again...and again...and again - here and now and today....and in my 8th year.

* *

"Your home is that thing to which you can dedicate your energies with such singular devotion that the ultimate results become inconsequential."

- Elizabeth Gilbert


With palms pressed...I bow to all of you with gratitude. Thank you all for joining me on this journey.


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Reader Comments (26)

Congratulations...your pictures continue to inspire!

May 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAnita johnson

Thank you for sharing your journey and practice with us. You continue to be a source of inspiration.

May 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSue Henry

Congratulations, Marcie! Thank you for all that's come before, and for all that likes ahead. And, for all the 'nows'..thank you!

May 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJuli

As always I love your photos. And I'm very inspired by the thought of practice. That practice is just that, practice. I'm going to do rather than to expect. Again, and again, and again. :)

May 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKelli Spencer

I always enjoy your images, but most especially your words...thanks for sharing your daily practice with us. :)

May 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSherri B.

How lovely....but then your words and images always are...blessed with a gift you are. Congratulations

May 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie Goode

Beautiful. I salute you in your practice without end. Yes.

May 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Watson

Congratulations, Marcie. Wow. That is a great way to celebrate your success. We are glad that you are here, doing what you do.

May 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAmy Putkonen

That the seven year mark passed without you noticing, and then noting it and writing about it, seems to say much about your practice.
It is wonderful that you have been posting photos and words for seven years. Wow!
It is also wonderful that you have been practicing Yoga for 15 years. Another Wow!
Balancing daily practice with goals--tough to do. I'm not good at setting goals. Recently I realized it helps my photography to have projects around which I can focus my daily energies. I've been floundering with no projects, but am now formulating some.
Peace and Joy to you. Thanks for all you share with us.

May 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAnita Bower

Lovely post Marcie. Congratulations on your milestone!

May 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCaryn Gilbert

What an incredible journey and milestone...these practices we find and we do are such an important part of us like taking a breath...we do them to live but they have become part of us without our even knowing...and without them we could not live fully....you have me thinking of another post...it is forming on the fringes but it is there waiting to be spoken...thank you my friend!!

You have described, with your grace of words, the journey of being present. Thank you for sharing your wisdom, Marcie, and for being such a beautiful inspiration. Congratulations on "keeping the practice" of showing up here. We both know what a feat this is!

May 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDiane Varner

Keep on the good work!

May 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterFatima Romero

I like how you say showing up each day and practicing, that is what we are all doing aren't we. it's wonderful that you have been so dedicated with your practice. What a wonderful way to look at life : )

May 5, 2014 | Unregistered Commentersonia

Congrats Marcie, and thanks for sharing some of your journey with us!

May 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMarcia Allar

A very big congratulations to you, Marcie!
I am truly so glad that you are here sharing your journey. xo.

May 5, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterlisa

You have been and continue to be a major inspiration to me and my own creative endeavors. Congratulations on reaching this milestone. Here's to another year of day after day, of daily practice.

May 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBrenda

Marcie, congratulations and thank you for inspiring me still, for following your own true path and for sharing that with us in such a spirit of generosity. What a fantastic legacy you have created. Here's to many more years and to walking together on this wonderful journey in friendship and so much more. You are such a gem. xx

May 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

So glad you share a bit of your daily practice. It is always a special treat to sit look at your images and read your words and finish my cup of green tea.

Milestones and measures
have their place I suppose
but walking through
the rose garden
breathing air redolent
from blossoms
moving with morning zephyr
a feast of color for the eye
reminds that joy
is not meant to be measured or quantified.

May 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRobert Brandt

I'm going to be thinking about this post for years, Marcie. The interplay between practice and intention, the dynamic between practice and goals, all are humming inside me, waiting to come to full song.

May 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHarmony Harrison

Marcie I enjoy everyone of your stunning images and thoughts you share with them, i do silently follow along at times, enjoying the moment of still each image brings me. I love that you say "Practice is the intention.......and intention is the practice". Love,love love this.
Congratulations on your extensive and inspiring body of work.

May 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKaren Main

Congratulations! You've hit a great milestone. You must be so proud of your achievements. I'm a new reader, only having visited a couple times. I keep coming back to see more of your great photographs.

This is a fine shot. The light that shines on the line is amazing.

Congratulations on your longevity and your many fine images.

I started my blog (on My-Expressions.com, now defunct) in August of 2004. so my seventh is fast approaching as well.

May 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHarry

Congrats! Love your photos and insights - particularly this...

"The gift is - that there is no end. Practice is the intention...and the intention is the practice. There is no other purpose." It is all in the journey. Thanks for letting us follow your sacred mission!

May 5, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterdebbie

Congrats – Marcie - on seven years of great images accompanied by heartwarming and often thought-provoking words. It’s always a pleasure to spend time here!
Can't wait to see what the next year brings.

May 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterArnd

Wow, Marcie, where do I start? The image. Wow, want to be there. Want to be him. No, wait, I want to DATE him....kidding.....7 years of daily blogging is fantastic. Had to chuckle about the yoga. I cannot imagine going to do it again tomorrow, let alone go every day for that many years! You are really a gifted wordsmith. Love to read your work, so very introspective an inspirational.

May 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPR Brady

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