30/31 July Challenge

30/31 July Challenge

This morning I was dragging a little bit, hesitant to get out of bed with my 4:30 alarm. I did, as evidenced by my putting content in this blog post, but it was a struggle. I picked today to drive to my favorite forest because there was no rain forecasted, but it rained the whole drive up and the whole (hour long) drive back. I have been really inspired lately with no shortage of ideas for photo shoots, but my body was lagging behind the enthusiasm of my creativity. And, if I’m honest, even that was a little bit lacking today. I saw so many amazing sights on my drive, like fog rolling in down a long and empty road, elk grazing on the side of the highway, and mud puddles that, on any other day, I probably would have jumped in.

As I drove home I realized there was construction on the back way that I decided to take, which I only took because I wanted to inspire myself and lift my attitude a bit. So, my little car bumped and scraped along for miles and miles until it finally cleared. I stopped at my favorite cafe for my favorite hot chocolate, and as I watched the footage back from my shoot with the rain pattering overhead, I finally found it. I found my happiness. It wasn’t shining as brightly, but we all have days like that. They probably exist to make the days that aren’t like that even better.

I filmed this one on my phone so you could see the camera process!

As I started editing this picture I put my favorite calming music on and got lost in the details, and felt really peaceful. While this morning I felt a bit doomed to have an off day, later this morning has brought me a lot of joy. I can still taste the hot chocolate that I had and the rain is dripping outside my window, and it all seems to be glowing beauty.

How perfect for this image that I made today. I shot three different pictures this morning, but this one called to me the most. Now I see why. We all have choices to make; to choose happiness or not. We can choose inspiration, passion, and good spirits or we can choose to be negative. And honestly, I’m not remotely saying that I make the more positive choice everyday. But I do try my best, and I recognize the power of our choices.

Over the years I’ve lost time and energy for people who constantly take the negative path. The people who make excuse after excuse as to why their life has never been and will never be fair. What is fair, anyway? None of us control outside influences that would knock us off our feet. None of us chooses the unforeseeable slams that life throws down. But we all choose how we react to them. I believe what is even more important than how we react to those random, big life events (after all, we’ve had no practice with each of those individual demons), is how we react each day, and the choices we make in the little moments.

I may not have felt good this morning, mentally or physically, but I didn’t have to choose anger. I didn’t have to choose cynicism. It might have taken a couple of hours, but I’ve chosen acceptance and gratitude and joy. That is my goal every single day.

Remember that your choices matter. Every little choice leads to the culmination of your life’s happiness. And I believe that your life won’t be summed up by that one big moment that tore your world apart, but by how you reacted to that moment, and all the moments to come. How you chose to separate yourself from your anger, or not. How we choose happiness, or we don’t.

Here’s to not waiting for tomorrow to take away some sorrows, but to making a choice right now that gets us there faster. As for me, I’ve got a few more hours of work and then I’m going to make a big mug of my favorite tea, read a good book, bake some apple crisp, and get to my yoga mat.


5 thoughts on “30/31 July Challenge

  1. After the month you’ve had no wonder you’re exhausted.
    we’ve had a very wet windy weekend here, which doens’t help with inspiration, unless you’re looking to get wet ๐Ÿ™‚

    This reminds me of Alice in Wonderland. Such a lovely feel to it.

    Life is a constant battle with choices and it isn’t always easy to choose the best option, so to turn a crappy day into a good one is a triumph! Mind you hot chocolate is a wonder lol

    The images plus supporting works you’ve produced under the pressure of this challenge have been brilliant. You are an inspiration to so many, and I’m sure like today it isn’t always as “easy” as it looks.
    Well you get a gold star from me.

  2. Today’s post really hits home with me, it seems like everyday I have to remind myself to be in a good mood. For about the last year I have really lost tolerance for that have nothing but excuses on why their life is so bad. It isn’t good to be around them.
    Hot chocolate always puts me into a good mood, so good choice. And an apple crisp to boot!
    I see why that is one of you favorite locations, it is so open, I love it! Kansas doesn’t have much for woods, and what he do have is often so dinse you can’t even walk in them. Not to mention poison ivy everywhere!
    Beautiful photo that really represents today post nicely.

    Only two days until the new challenge starts!!!

  3. Happiness is just a choice away.
    That’s actually something I wrote a while ago.
    And so your words, your art really spoke to my soul today. In general, too, for that matter. So thank you! Thank you for thinking about the world and sharing your art. And, as I am also a person who constantly thinks about the world, the Universe and everything, thank you for inspiring me.

  4. You just made this into a thought-provoking summer for me. I will definitely miss the daily posts after July. Thank you Brooke!
    Like you I have a huge soft spot for forests. In fact I specialise in Fine Art forest photography and I just wanted to let you know that if you are ever back in The Netherlands I would very much love to take you to a forest that would suit your style perfectly. In fact I am quite sure I will never be able to drag you away from it once you are there. I would love to show it it you and show you around if you were to ever come back here and have an urgent need for a forest fix

  5. I always love looking through your blogs. While I havenโ€™t read every single one, I always seem to find the right one that I needed to read at the perfect moment. Today I made a choice to have a great day ๐Ÿ™‚ And I feel so amazing for it. Thank you for sharing this! Much love.

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