09 April 2014

Instagram Life Lessons

see all these images & more here

So I finally joined Instagram a few weeks ago and I've learned a few things. At first I was a little clueless about what I wanted to put there other than DIY projects I might be working on for the blog. So I felt it out for a while, read some articles on how to be a good Instagram-mer and watched what others did.

During one of our brainstorm/barnstorm sessions I asked EverKelly's advice on Instagram. Always ready with just the right words somehow, she told me I would find a niche that felt comfortable to me and suggested I set aside a few minutes each day to think about things I would like to photograph and post.

In the weeks that have followed I've learned some good life lessons from ol' Instagram. First, I've learned to slow down and start seeing the world around me. It's amazing the beauty of nature that I've enjoyed as I've challenged myself to lift my head up from my walking, riding and driving to see what is going on with plants and animals on the ground and the skies above me. There are so many beautiful flowers and trees putting on a beautiful show of color. In just a couple of weeks Jacaranda season will come to L.A. and our streets will be full of beautiful trees covered in purple blossoms.

I have noticed more beautiful things in the streets I walk daily than I've seen in years. I look at the flowers in front of our building every day now and the flowers in our neighbor's yards too. When I walked to the grade school there is a lot to see. I've been missing it by hurrying and scurrying. I always have my phone with me so now I'm trying to remember to look for things I can take photos of and to look up and see more than the sidewalks.

Wherever I go now, I am more thoughtful to see what there is to see, rather than multi-tasking in my head, just going through the motions of getting to where I need to go or getting home. I feel like I appreciate much more where I live and the little things of beauty all over in our world. What a gift and a blessing.

Second, I've learned to enjoy more the things I have in my home. Harkening back to Ever Kelly's words, I felt a draw to photograph treasures in my home. They may not mean much to someone else, but their beauty and history mean something to me and so reflect me and who I am. The things I've brought into my home I have put heart and thought into but it's easy to plop them somewhere and forget about them completely. I realized that I have treasures all over in my home that I don't even see. My eyes go right past them.

Now I like to take time to look around my home and see the treasures that I love and to photograph them in a way that reminds me why I chose them in the first place and why I find them meaningful and beautiful. I can tell you that looking past the laundry basket, bed to be made and kitchen floor that needs to be mopped I like my home lot more.

Beyond the mess of a little family, it reflects me, it reflects us and I love that. Sometimes it's easy to forget the beauty of the family too when one can only see the messes. A double-fold lesson there. Photographing bits of my home reminds me to love this place of beauty, love, safety and refuge - and to love and appreciate even more the people here.

Third, I've been reminded how very blessed I am and that the life I dream of is not as far as it sometimes seems from the reality that I live. This lesson reminds me of another life lesson I learned that I shared at re:Find Joy a few years ago about how my dream life was already in my life, I just wasn't seeing it.

There are so many little daily pleasures available to us all the time that we can forget to take advantage of: a walk, a sit in the sunshine, a few moments to laugh, time to read a book, cook a nice meal, phone a friend or family member or write a note...the options really are endless and they are just waiting for us.

Happiness, joy, peace and laughter are all just waiting for us, sitting right next to us waiting, waiting, waiting. Whether we lean over and take a moment to pick these beautiful flowers of life is our decision and only ours. What are we waiting for? Let's pick more, shall we?

Spring is a season full of simple pleasures. What simple pleasures are you enjoying this year? I'd love to hear from you and learn from what you know.


Jane @ The Borrowed Abode said...

I really enjoy instagram. I'm glad you joined! I'm still finding a groove for exactly what I want to post on there - I used to post whatever, whenever, without thinking - but since my account is for my business as well as personal, I've realized maybe it's better to put some thought into it.
It was fun to be able to import my photos from last year into Blurb and order a photo book in less than an hour. The book accurately captures all the important moments of 2013.
Another thing: I know that last year I started sharing tons of photos of my pets. I know for my followers it was probably viewed as over the top. But especially once Charlie was sick, I captured everything. And now that she is gone so soon, I am SO glad that I have so many photos of the little moments.
It's a double edged sword, though. For a while it was almost addictive, and it was too consuming, and I know I wasn't as focused on being in the moment during things. So that's something to keep in mind. But you're always so self-aware, it seems, that I doubt this will be an issue for you.
I recently was thinking I wanted to start capturing little parts of my home as well. Like the art I have, and the stories behind it. So I find it interesting that you've started seeing your home differently.
/rant over :)

kalanicut said...

Jane thanks so much for your comment! I like hearing about your history/experience with Instagram. It's so cool to learn about other's journeys into new creative expressions. I didn't know it was so easy to create a book from Instagram so I appreciate finding out about that!

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