5 for 5 Self-Care Challenge: Finding Beauty


Self Care Challenge Finding Beauty

 

Dear Wonderful, Creative You:

Welcome to Day 1 of the 5 for 5 Self-Care Challenge! If you’re not sure about the rules and what it’s all about, find out more here.

Today is one of my favorite challenge days.

We miss SO MUCH BEAUTY in our rush, rush, rush. Let’s use it today to capture the beauty around us. Here’s how:

Slow down.

Get quiet.

Study something beautiful.

See what you might miss otherwise.

[bctt tweet=”Slow down. Get quiet. Study something beautiful. -Mindful Art Studio #5for5selfcare”]

Try to capture your subject from various different angles and get to know it deeply. It’s a way of meditating through art.

Perhaps you find beauty in something unconventional the way I did in some food scraps in last year’s Self-Care Challenge.

Beauty in front of you

 

Comment for Your Chance to Win:

Your comment on this post is your entry into the contest for today. Be sure to comment here on your experience for your chance to win a copy of the Starting Your Art Journal E-Book or a Portable Art KitStarting Your Art Journal Cover

Portable Art Kit Prize

How to Share Your Images:

For fun, will you Instagrammers share your images with #5for5selfcare? I can’t wait to see the images.

You can also join the Creative Self-Care Facebook group and share your images there.

For official rules and more information, click here.

Creatively Yours,

Amy

60 Comments

  1. Rekha Krishnan

    This is a great idea, Amy. I am joining this challenge.
    My day began with a walk in the park, and after the walk I sat on the bench to meditate and practice breath awareness. In the beginning I heard some chirping of birds, but after a while there was only silence. I felt suspended in time, maybe for about 10 minutes, until I heard the sound of parrots. When I opened my eyes, I saw the parrots on the tree about 50 meters from where I was sitting. It was a beautiful experience, and I felt energised and filled with positivity.

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      Hi Rekha:

      Welcome to Mindful Art Studio! Your meditation sounds WONDERFUL. Will you take me with you? Given the mention of parrots, I have to ask where you are. Your tale brings to mind a wonderful memory of watching monkeys noisily run from cave to cave above the beach where I sat quietly contemplating in Thailand. Thanks for that reminder. Your comment is a great reminder of the grounding to be found in cultivating stillness. Thank you.
      Cheers,
      Amy

      Reply
  2. Sarah

    I don’t have time for self-care! I’m getting married! No really! I didn’t think I would try to participate in this challenge because, for real, I’m getting married in five days, but perhaps this is the best time to take just five minutes for some self-care each day. I think self-care can come in a million forms, and I can trust my creative mind and heart to find the just-right self-care strategy for each day as I approach a big-deal-day. Thanks for this opportunity!

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      Hi Sarah:

      Oh I didn’t realize you were getting married. Congratulations! I am so excited for you. And YES, and YES to all your statements. This IS just the right time to practice finding 5 minutes for you each day and doing it YOUR way. I’m so glad that the timing is opportune. It’s always so wonderful having your voice here.

      Cheers,

      Amy

      Reply
  3. Joy

    “Slow” with a toddler rarely exists! So, on a rare day of snow (first time in 10 years at this elevation I was told), we stopped our routine and just hung out in the icey cold playing however we wanted in the snow. Just enjoyed the smiles and spending time with my boys. Followed it up with hot chocolate for them and again, just sat and soaked it in. I’m usually all over the place, trying to get meals ready or cleaned up… maybe not visually beautiful, but the smiles, laughter, snow all over, hot chocolate moustaches… I thought it was beautiful.

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Joy:

      Thank you for painting such a lovely picture with your words. It’s such a great reminder for all us moms to slow down and take in each moment. It’s something I have to remind myself of all the time. I’ve seen this quote that I love, “The days are long, but the years are short-” it’s so true. Loving the beauty of winter, I find your image very beautiful. Thank you for sharing it and I can’t wait to hear more about your adventures this week.

      Cheers,
      Amy

      Reply
  4. Christine

    I am lucky these days, I work from home and today a beautiful sun is shining, the sky is blue. I took my work on the balcony and enjoy the sky, sun and beauty of the trees in the garden.

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Christine!

      I think I shall do the same. Thank you for the inspiration and your lovely comment. It’s so important to slow down enough to see what we really need, isn’t it?

      Cheers,
      Amy

      Reply
  5. Annmarie Wilson

    My self-care started over the weekend where I spent some outside viewing the full moon with my husband while listening to the cricket and smiled when we saw the first bug that flew across the lawn. Yesterday we went the movies and slow had dinner which was our first time since we moved in the area over a year ago. I also painted my nails. Today I will paint , meditate and complete my abs and squats challenge. I also plan to journal today as well. I will reflect on our vacation for the past month. We are truly blessed to be able to spend some time with family and friends.

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      Annmarie:

      What a great example you are indeed for self-care. Thank you so much for sharing all this inspiration. Sounds like you are ready for tomorrow’s challenge as well. Not that I’m making any hints or anything. 😉

      Cheers,
      Amy

      Reply
  6. Paulette gill

    Good Morning. I am on the west coast so I have to do this early in my day. Which is really not a problem, I usually get up at 5 am. My joining this group is rather ironic because I seem to have each day full of self-care moments. I journal every morning, a big self-care moment. I listen to music while I drive to my clients. I work with Alz. seniors and I go to their homes. and do a lot of driving. Sometimes I sing at the top of my voice as I drive. And then I drive through a redwood forest to come home to my tiny cabin in the hills above the Pacific Ocean.
    I guess I am here just to remind myself that I do have these moments and to be grateful. So the five minutes each day will focus on gratitude for the beauty that I am surrounded by. The more artsy thing I will be doing is photography.

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Paulette:

      Geez, can I come over? I’d love to hang out in your neighborhood. How do you even get anything done?! This all sounds so beautiful and fun. You give so many great ideas and reminders. Cheers!

      Amy

      Reply
  7. lee

    I’d like to win!

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Lee:

      Welcome to Mindful Art Studio! I’d love for you to win too. What was your 5 minutes of self-care today?
      Cheers,

      Amy

      Reply
  8. Veronica

    Today we have a downpour of rain and it is beautiful! My daughter commented on how the sound machine I have for my younger daughter has this same sound of rain. She continued to talk about the other sounds of the heartbeat, initially feeling it was “creepy”. When I explained to her about how the heartbeat is one of the sounds familiar to a new baby and how it can bring a sense of peace and comfort, she had an “ah” moment. (my girls were adopted by my husband and I with their brother as older kids so we get lots of opportunities to discuss the beauty they had not recognized as babies)

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      Hi Veronica:

      Welcome to Mindful Art Studio! I’m so pleased that you dropped by! There is indeed a lot of beauty in your story. Thank you so much for taking the time to share it.

      Cheers!

      Amy

      Reply
  9. Lynne Percival

    While in school, our professors stressed self-care. I thought “yea, no problem…when I,get done with this…I’ll do self-care. Or I don’t have time today…I’ll double it tomorrow.”
    When I did my Counseling Practicum, I finally realized that I cannot be a helper if I can’t care for self.
    The past few weeks have been devoted to family and their needs, so this challenge helped me stop and take note of what I have been missing.
    It seems that we tend to ignore our four-legged friends when we are busy. Yes, we feed them and make sure they have toys and such…vut how often do we get distracted and fail to appreciate the unconditional love they give us?
    Today for self care…I snuggled with my cat, Lynx. Listening to his purring, feeling the softness of his fur as I petted him and enjoying his beautiful features. We were “in the present” and it was relaxing and filled my heart with joy. He seemed pleased to enjoy our moment, as well.

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Lynne: You make such a good point about self-care. While there are certainly times that we need to push through something and maybe don’t get quite as much downtime, most of the time if we wait for the perfect time, it never comes. This is a great reminder. Your kitty sounds so snuggly!

      Creatively Yours,
      Amy

      Reply
  10. Sonya Iryna

    For my 5 minutes today I took some time to really connect with my beloved cats. We have 7, and since my husband has been gone overseas I’ve been so caught up with just keeping things going day to day without him, worrying about him, and working that the cats haven’t gotten the attention they get when there are two of us here. So this morning I took five minutes to enjoy them cuddling in bed with me. Listening to their deep purrs and feeling their love and joy got my day off to a positive and grateful start.

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Sonya:

      I have two snuggle specialists (otherwise known as dogs) who I sometimes can forget to prioritize when I get really busy. They are so helpful aren’t they?

      Cheers,
      Amy

      Reply
  11. Kaylee Hoeger

    I’m really excited to start this self care challenge and will be sure to get outside at some point today to discover some unexpected beauty! Will be passing this on to coworkers as well! Thank you

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Kaylee:

      Making a point to get outside during the work day is such a great way to “change the channel” and take care of you. Fresh air, trees, and sky are not to be underestimated in their power.

      Cheers,
      Amy

      Reply
  12. Charis

    Hi this is a lovely challenge 🙂

    My self-care today was recognising the beautiful area I have been immersed in the past few days (beautiful Dorset) & acknowledging the recharging that I always have when I am by the sea.

    Thanks for the reminder to take the time to notice.

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Charis:

      I love being near the ocean as well. The waves, the salt air, the breeze – it’s such a full sensory experience. Thanks or taking us there!

      Cheers,

      Amy

      Reply
  13. Amber

    I have spent today with my kiddos living in the moment because my little one is sick. While she laid down for a nap, I went out for a phone call with my close friend who moved away. While we were on the phone, I noticed the butterflies, the pretty roses in my yard, the vitamin D I was getting from the sun.

    Right now I notice the essential oils that I always burn when I log on to my computer.

    Not a super-fan of when summer break winds down, but finding ways to enjoy the NOW, because that’s all there ever is:)

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Amber:

      Yes, enjoying the NOW, what a good reminder – to be in the moment and not miss it!

      Cheers,

      Amy

      Reply
  14. Barbara Shelton

    I spent time this morning looking at my mint plant just outside my front door. I immediately starting seeing myself in it. First observation was of the wrinkled texture of the leaves and I thought – my face is beginning to look like that. It has gotten “leggy” due to neglect. I’m tall and often joke that my legs go up to my armpits. But my illnesses and injury also mean there is a lot of me that gets neglected. Yet, I was surprised to note that the plant had blooms on it. Blooms on a mint plant? I didn’t know they had blossoms! And I thought, even with my physical challenges there are times I feel like I can bloom into the lives of others, even if it is just a smile and word of encouragement. Then, there they were…. baby mint plants snuggled beneath the overgrown mass. New life. Yes, there are still times this 63 year old woman gets surprised by new growth within me – learning something new, emotional maturity, spiritual growth. I’m not done yet. There is still room for wonder, beauty, and blessings in my life. 🙂

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Barbara!!!

      What a beautiful, beautiful reflection. “There is still room for wonder, beauty, and blessings in my life.” I love this. Deeply. And I AGREE! Thank you so much for such a bare, authentic, inspiring reflection. I know you’ve touched many with it.

      Cheers,

      Amy

      Reply
  15. Ime

    I woke up to the email reminder about 5 days of self care and found myself noticing the striving energy: how do I find something other people will resonate with? What will make a compelling picture? How can I contribute to this conversation in a way that helps *and* shows I am thinking deeply about this. Not exactly self-care oriented. So I took time to let go of my expectations for myself and who I “need to be” in this world this morning and that felt like the largest gift in this first day of self care. I also took 5 min to look at the blue glass vase I just added to my office. I bought it almost 20 years ago and it sat in a closet until last night when I was thinking about balacing energy in my office and needing more earth and water. Taking time to wash the vase, think about the stories it hold, its round shape in my hands, it’s impercetible “flaws” in color that give it thatcharacteristic shimmer and life, helped me feel connected to my younger self, the me who strives knowing imperfections are what make is beautiful, and this moment of stillness. I will tweet my pic later this evening

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Ime:

      Your post is so thoughtful and authentic. We can all identify with getting caught up with “striving” too much. I guess that’s why I feel like self-care, like meditation is a practice. A constant trial and error – figuring out the boundaries and the tricks. Thanks so much for the wonderful reminders of the perfection of imperfection.

      Cheers,

      Amy

      Reply
  16. Dima

    Glad to be participating – the timing could not be better. This morning I dusted off my DVD of QiGong Yoga and did it for the first time in years. It felt quite good to stretch my entire body and picture myself releasing negative energy.
    For dinner I gathered greens from my garden. I am really enjoying my urban roof-top garden. It is plentiful this year.
    I’m getting ready to work on my art journal.

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Dima:

      You are inspiring with all the self-care you’ve done already! I can’t wait to see what you do in your art journal too.

      Cheers,

      Amy

      Reply
  17. Debbi Plemons

    I have the great opportunity to spend much of my summer in colorful Colorado, which is where I’m blessed to be for the next six days. So I almost feel like I’m cheating with this challenge, because this is my happy place where I’m surrounding by majestic beauty. Today is a day we’re spending at the house, repairing & making little improvements. I took some time to walk the dog around the block, a cool breeze, beautiful blue skies with puffy clouds and the mountains & trees around me simply make me feel happy!

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Debbi:

      I love the statement about cheating on the challenge! Cheat away! And bring me with you! It’s so inspiring to be surrounded by beauty, isn’t it? The secret sometimes is staying tuned in.

      Creatively Yours,
      Amy

      Reply
  18. Tayla

    I think I really needed this today. I’ve just returned from my second weekend away from home and was feeling very overwhelmed by the to-do list I have for this week. I was also getting frustrated because I couldn’t find anything beautiful to look at! Isn’t that ridiculous?!
    So, I gave up “looking” and sat in my bedroom for a while. I started noticing how beautiful the room felt. It was dimly lit and the fans were moving our curtains just slightly. The colors were dark and grey and it was quiet. I needed the moment to relax and collect my thoughts.
    Thank you for this challenge! Taking a moment to relax during the day seems like such a “no-brainer” but you really don’t realize how much you need it at times.

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Tayla:

      Wow, what a great description you give of how badly we need to slow down in order to tune into the world around us and the beauty in it. I always love reading the descriptions about folks’ images. It’s so beautiful and I feel like I get to go there too. Thanks for the treat, Tayla. I’m so glad that this challenge is well-timed for you. I can’t wait to hear more in the coming days.

      Cheers,

      Amy

      Reply
  19. Kristin Gideon

    I love today’s challenge! One thing I have been trying to do lately, and today’s challenge reminded me of, is to enjoy the beauty of the clouds in the sky on my way home from yoga class in the evenings, instead of making a phone call or zoning out to the radio. It’s such a beautiful time of night when I leave class, and the whole sky is absolutely gorgeous, but lately the clouds have just really stood out to me. They remind me to be mindful and enjoy the present moment. Thank you for today’s reminder to stop and recognize the beauty around us!

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Kristin:

      Welcome to Mindful Art Studio! Isn’t cloud watching just the best? I learned to take it to a new level when I lived in Spain during college. I was in the city and students spent a lot of time in parks. Lying back to watch the clouds go by taught me a lot about slowing down. I’m going to have to make time to do it later this week too! Thank YOU for the reminder.

      Cheers,

      Amy

      Reply
    • Tayla

      I also try to use my driving time to admire the sky. I live in Kansas, and am in love with every sunrise and sunset. I often wonder if anyone driving around me is noticing all this beautiful scenery in front of them… I want to point it out to everyone! Haha…

      Reply
      • Amy Johnson Maricle

        Tayla – That sounds so amazing! Thanks for the daydream.

        Cheers,
        Amy

        Reply
  20. Andrea

    Hi! I wanted to give the 5 day self-care challenge a shot. My day 1 contribution is a photo of my new addition to my garden, a cone flower. I love tending to plants and watching them grow and blossom. I planted this in it’s new pot & took several photos since it’s beautiful from every angle! #5for5selfcare

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Andrea:

      I’m so glad you did! Your cone flower on Creative Self-Care is so beautiful. Tending plants is definitely a way to tune way into the moment. Thanks for sharing yours,

      Amy

      Reply
  21. Julie Turner

    Today was my first day back to work after a week at the beach, which included lots of time for rest and relaxation. I spent time alone this morning reviewing emails, unrushed, and making a list of new tasks and goals. Later, I met with my supervisor getting updates and then getting organized for the week. My self-care for today was to ease back into the routine, and I accomplished that during those 5+ minutes this morning. I believe the rest of the week will go smoother, and hopefully preserve the restoration from last week. Today was very gratifying.

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Julie:

      Managing “vacation re-entry” this successfully is a real accomplishment! I love the reminder to slow down and take stock calmly of what needs to be done. So often we feel overwhelmed and just start doing in a harried, unorganized way.

      Thank you,
      Amy

      Reply
  22. Hillary Shidfar

    I’m so glad to be involved in this!

    Tonight was out of the norm for me. All day I had small moments of what I found peaceful or a good moment to share with everyone but the most unexpected happened and I find those happenings are the best.

    My husband and I had a good friend over and his girlfriend ( we don’t have many friends or no one really comes over)
    I recently created a meditation room that I keep my Buddha alter in and I also have sitting pillows and my most prized possession… My husbands grandpa’s praying rug, he would pray on it every single day until his dying day and this rug (hand made) is absolutely magnificent!

    We all sat in a circle and just talked, there were moments in the discussion were I would just observe and reflect on how fulfilled my life has become and how grateful I am even when sometimes I feel lost.

    Being able to tie in such meaningful memories with also this rug that means so dear to me made my heart swell (as big of a sap as I am haha!)
    I hope besides creating such a peaceful quiet space for reflection I can also bring the warmth of lively conversation into this special room.

    I guess what today meant to me is if we expect too much at times, we have ideas or plan how life should be or could be when you can just pause and let life unfold you can experience something so much better.

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      Hi Hilary:

      What a lovely picture you paint of your experience in that special room. I felt that I was there with you. This is what is amazing about this blog – you all take me on your journey with you. Thank you for that.

      Amy

      Reply
  23. Mel McFadden

    This is such a thoughtful challenge. So many of us (including myself) forget to take time out to care for ourselves. This is what led me to art journaling in the first place. As the mother of two very special children, my role as both mother and carer means I find myself putting my own needs last. My recent discovery of art journaling after joining a session in my local area (btw hi from Australia) has helped me to take time out for myself regularly. The benefits have not only improved my wellbeing, but also that of my wonderful husband and amazing children.
    Today’s challenge was especially helpful as I spent the entire day consciously looking for the beauty in everything. The end result being a gorgeous photo of my eldest son. 🙂 Thank you!

    Reply
  24. Annmarie Wilson

    Today I woke up and meditated for 25 minutes. The centering thought was “my inner light guiding me.”What a journey it has been for me as I continue to heal. I am more aware of practicing self-care on a daily basis and I am grateful for my children who inspire me to continue on the path of inspiring others. Be gentle with yourself and be a rainbow in someone’s life. Namaste

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Annmarie:

      What a wonderful practice! The use of a mantra can be so helpful in many types of meditation. I even use it sometimes when I am running. Thanks for the reminder.

      Cheers,
      Amy

      Reply
  25. Dima

    Day 2. Sometimes I need to follow my dog’s lead. When she sits by the balcony door she is saying ‘let’s hang out in the fresh air together’. She hates when I just let her out and don’t join her. So I sat on the balcony and watered and admired my flowers. New geraniums coming out, my basil will soon be able to eat, new sunflowers will open in a day or two. Dog sat under my chair and then settled in a sunbeam.
    I later went on Pinterest and looked at ‘Nature’ pictures – with every picture I was drawn to I took some deep breaths and imagined myself in that spot.
    When I was doing my dishes, I saw the bubbles I bought a week ago at the dollar store;I went out the balcony – blew some bubbles and watched them shimmer in the sun and drift away.
    All of these help me slow down and focus on my breathing – something I really need right now.

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Dima:

      You do such a great job of reminding me to hang with my pooches whenever I possibly can. I sense the wonder in your focus and the strength of your breath.

      Cheers,

      Amy

      Reply
  26. Lynne Percival

    I didn’t find a place to comment for Day 2 challenge (I’m sure I was navigating incorrectly),but came back here were it was familiar ;).
    Exercise is really a challenge for me. I am unable to afford a membership to a “club.” Living in Texas my best excuse is that it is TOO HOT.
    Today, I am spending time with my “Grandtoddler.” While reading the challenge, I,clicked on the YouTube video…my Grand toddler got a smile opened his eyes wide and started moving to the tune.
    “WHY NOT!!” So I joined in…we ran the song thru twice and then I sat on
    the floor while my Grandson continued to play.
    I love music and what a great way for us older folks to move more!! I intend to incorporate music into self care regime more often!!

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Lynne:

      I love that you guys bogeyed down together – what a great vision. I did this recently to a great CAKE song, Short Skirt, Long Jacket. The whole family got in on it, it was hilarious. I’m so glad that you all got a chance to feel the joy of movement today!

      Also, to comment on any particular blog post, click where it says “Comments” right under the title. That took me a minute to figure out too!
      Thanks for sharing it with us,

      Amy

      Reply
      • Lynne Percival

        Thanks for the info, Amy!
        Also, thanks for the challenge…it was just what I needed at this time. I look forward to the rest of the challenge!

        Reply
        • Amy Johnson Maricle

          Thank YOU Lynne – because without you, I’m just sitting here talking to myself listening to crickets!
          Amy

          Reply
  27. Lynda Shoup

    Ack! I forgot to post yesterday and let you know that I’m self caring. Yesterday I worked in my art journal. Today the results are up on my blog. I find it so soothing to add paint to the page. It makes the world fade away for a few moments.

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      Lynda:

      I love that you used the word, “Ack.” Haha. Amazing how soothing art can be, isn’t it?

      Amy

      Reply
  28. Jenn

    I know I’m late on this one, but I missed the first e-mail because your newsletters were going to my junk mail. =( I really like this post. A day or two ago I had to change my screen background, because I accidentally set it to something that definitely shouldn’t have been a background, and I discovered a theme pack on Windows of all of these beautiful natural footpaths. I know it’s not the same as being outside, but it has actually already made a difference in my day to day. I’m finding myself closing stuff on my computer just so I can look at my background instead of Facebook and other distractions.

    Reply
  29. Dima

    Hi everyone,
    I started the day feeling exhausted after a difficult night – nightmare, anxiety, and then after falling back asleep, a sick dog.
    The morning was ‘ruff’ – my dog was having some muscular, seizure-like episode. I videotaped her and showed that to the vet. Consulted with vet and fortunately no more symptoms.
    In the afternoon I took the dog to visit one of her friends who works at the Pet food store. She got lots of treats and cuddles. I enjoyed watching her – that is one of my favourite ‘beauty’ moments. She provides constant reminders to me to take life as it comes and enjoy all the friends who cross my path.
    The walk was good and it was my first anxiety free moment in almost 2 weeks. I feel grateful for that.

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Dima:

      A difficult night indeed. I’m sorry to hear about your recent struggles, but so encouraged to know that this has helped you find some beauty and gratitude. Thanks for all you are offering here and many peaceful days to you.

      Cheers,

      Amy

      Reply

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