This Quarter - Gleam

I have been out and about more recently this month. I have also been talking to more people and while I would rather not talk in general, it does open up opportunities to find out about events being put on around town. This lead me to Gleam:

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GLEAM, Art in a New Light features a local, national and international group of artists creating light-based installations in the outdoor gardens and the Bolz Conservatory. GLEAM 2017 introduces new lighting techniques and interactive projects and allows the artists’ vivid imaginations to enrich our own. Experience the gardens after dark and be dazzled and inspired.
— Olbrich Website

And it was dazzling. Walking through beautiful gardens to the sounds of crickets and the smell of gardenias or rosemary. 

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Going to this event is part of a goal I set for myself this year. Find things to do and go to them. We ended up buying a year long membership at the gardens and there's a class I might take coming up as well. I have been severly disappointed in the events put on in Madison, especially when I compare to life in Calgary. I hope that with time I can find more things for us to do. I want to be exposed to unique adventures and culture. Hopefully with time I can start to find what I am looking for.  

This quarter has been very full of adventure and I want to take some time to check in with how I am progressing. 

Cultivate my Voice

Be authentic to myself and my writing. 

June: Theme was Depression. I wrote about my path into this round of depression, a book I struggled with, and the use of music. My favorite post was called Balloons of Truth

July: Theme was Recovery. My goal was to be upbeat for our vacation and I worked hard to get there. My favorite pictures are from the Matching Set but my favorite post is about my fears surrounding vacation.

August: Theme was Vacation. I had originally planned to do break down posts of all our activities. But one night while on vacation, I started writing in about it differently than I had ever before and I decided to roll with it. I am so proud of how they all turned out. The post that's my absolutely though, has nothing to do with vacation, it has to do with Kevin and his birthday.  

Grow in Body Positivity

June: 23 days of yoga, 11 days of migraine medication. 
July: 14 days of yoga (though I doubled up on two days, so it's 16 sessions), 10 days of migraine medication. 
August: 17 days of yoga (though it was 18 sessions, one double day), 9 days of migraine medication (it's been going down!).

I don't want my body positivity to always be about the numbers. However that has been what I've been focusing on, realizing this I create the Body Project and began attempting to shoot smaller parts of myself. It's not perfect but it's coming along. So far I have done stomach, calves, feet, and hands. That is not enough though and so the education part of things feels even more important. 

Educate Myself

Reading is the biggest way I can educate myself and right now I've been doing a lot. Because I am using it as my education I have branched out of the fantasy genre choosing more self-help or feminist focus books. So far this year I have read these;

- Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls: A Handbook for Unapologetic Living by Jes Baker
- The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf
- It Was Me All Along by Mitchell Andie
- The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff
- Namaslay: Rock Your Yoga Practice, Tap Into Your Greatness, Defy Your Limits by Candace Moore
- All Over the Place: Adventures in Travel, True Love, and Petty Theft by Geraldine DeRuiter
- life.love.beauty by Keegan Allen
- Auto Focus: The Self-Portrait in Contemporary Photography by Susan Bright
- Mothers Who Can't Love: A Healing Guide for Daughters by Susan Forward
- Shoot the Damn Dog: A Memoir of Depression by Sally Brampton
- Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West
- Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur (review to come)
- We are never meeting in real life: Essays by Samantha Irby
- god is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher Hitchens

You can follow me on goodreads, to see what else I am reading. 

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What's Next

I have been working really hard and loving every second of it. September and October are full of pre-planned posts and while it's not all written yet, I am so excited and nervous about the content for those months. You've seen the start of Septembers theme on Friday and I hope that you'll join me for the rest of the month. 

How do you feel about your progress this year, so far?