Gaining Myself in the Process

“You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself.” ~Alan Alda

If you have been following me on social media for the last few years, you know I have been participating in a creative challenge called, The 100 Day Project or #the100dayproject. I stumbled upon it in 2019 and thought it would be a great way to challenge myself creatively, stick with doing something for 100 days, and share my process. And the creators had lots of great resources. Sounded easy.

For my first project I decided I would stay close to what I knew best, my garden. Highlight what is growing and visiting my garden in real time, write about it’s symbolism and include a stylized artsy picture. As this challenge started in early April I knew I would have lots of early bulbs and maybe even some ephemeral natives to write about.

Lots of folks visited my daily posts on Instagram and Facebook, and enjoyed the information and pictures I was sharing. And I was having a great time informally inventorying my garden and reminiscing. Don’t get me wrong while I thoroughly enjoyed the project it was indeed a challenge to write and create photos daily taking me usually 30 minutes a day. I was quite exhausted by the time the 100 days wrapped. There were days I was unsure I would finish, but I am too stubborn to give up when challenged. It is a call to dig deep and push through, and I did.

I wasn’t sure I would do the project again in 2020 especially because I was floundering with what I wanted to do. Then my mom passed away unexpectedly, and I knew immediately what I would talk about. Her story. But that challenge became so much more as I shared my deep grief, many old photos and stories of my mom and dad, their parents, and my family growing up. Again I was working on the project for at least 30 minutes daily. I had so much to write about I didn’t want to stop sharing once the 100 days was over.

Last year, I was really debating with myself again about doing the challenge. For me it was always a big commitment of time. So I wanted to incorporate something I was already doing so as not to feel overwhelmed by taking on something new, but what. And I didn’t have much time to choose my project as last year’s challenge started at the end of January. YIKES! Then it came to me. How about incorporating my year long reading challenge, #read21in21 from Gretchen Rubin, (reading 21 minutes daily) into the the 100 day project. It took some intense brainstorming, but I came up with a plan. Share my favorite books, authors and genres from childhood to now. Another trip down memory lane with lots of great stories to share. This challenge felt a bit easier because it was happening in winter and early spring when I had a bit more free time.

After this third go around with #the100dayproject, I was already generating ideas for future challenges especially if it was held during winter again. The next time I was going to do something with a bit more challenge (think art), maybe less writing, but definitely not too time consuming. There was no longer the question of if I was going to participate, but what I would be doing for year 4. And I knew that answer last year when I ran across an art journal, One Color a Day: A Daily Art Practice and Visual Diary by Courtney Cerruti. I have been wanting to color outside the lines of my comfort zone. And I thought how hard can this be to make one watercolor a day. After all I have several watercolor paint sets and tubes I can use. I also purchased a traveling watercolor set to have in case I was traveling or wanted to go outside and paint.

It didn’t take long, as I started the journal on January 1st, to discover how hard this challenge would be (both for 365 days as well as 100 days). How could I come up with 365 unique colors? And as part of the journal, you name your colors. So there was another challenge; finding enough names that I didn’t repeat. So early in January I thought about how I would track my progress with colors and names….I find it easier if I have a system in place. I created spreadsheets.

Another question for this year’s challenge was how often I would show my progress on social media. Do I want to post daily and write something? I don’t think I have it in me this year, but I do love to share my process and my thoughts as I create. Or should I just update my progress once or twice a week? Still thinking about this, but I think I may opt for once a week. We shall see. I’m also thinking about incorporating some wonderful inspirational oracle-type cards as prompts with some beautiful crystals and stones. And I might explore several main colors….one color a week for a whole week. Different blues one week and purples the next. Greens, reds, yellows etc. I did this type of color exploration on my blog 10 years ago, so I have some great info and images I can use. I discovered recently those posts were not working right, images were not showing, so it might be fun to look back at those old posts and even resurrect them.

As you can see this 100 day project can be something involved or something simple. I could just post one color a day with its name and be done. Simple or complex, I have literally see thousands of projects in the last 3 years I have been doing this. People drawing, painting, dancing, organizing, writing, playing an instrument, cooking, sewing, quilting, knitting, gardening, animation, videos….you name it. And many do post daily but others just post every so often.

I never quite know what my project will look like until I get into it. So it is important to remain flexible and change it up if you find you want to or need to…..especially if you feel overwhelmed or bored. The project is evolving like life…like everything we create. This year, I know I want to explore art and color and feel more comfortable with it. The best way I know how is to practice and play with color. Practicing everyday is the ultimate way to immerse yourself in something, to learn and grow with it and see where it might lead. Ultimately connecting in with your purpose I find. But it is equally important to play and have fun with your creativity as it fulfills, enriches and sustains you.

One of the biggest perks I get from these 100 days is the inspiration and connections from interacting with people and their projects. I would love it if you came along with me for the journey whether you participate or just follow along with me as I work through my project. You can find all the information you need on the 100 day website. And get in touch with me if you have further questions. I am no expert, but I can steer you in the right direction. We are starting on February 13th. Let me know if you are participating as I would love to follow along with you!

All the pictures shared in this post were taken with my Nikon Coolpix or iPhone camera, and manipulated on my iPhone using the apps, Pixlr and Prisma.

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View, 2010-2022.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.

17 comments

    • Donna says:

      Thanks so much Kris. It seems to be the highlight of my year recently. Maybe I am in training for some big project coming my way soon.

  1. jacquie says:

    You have more courage and stamina than i do to take this on. I’m very much looking forward to your posts. I’m intrigued by the oracle/crystal piece and do hope you incorporate that in the end.

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