Set small and gentle goals and meet them. Rules of the Road: The Artist’s Way


I have found myself searching for something, yet the search is unsatisfying within itself. For I am unaware of what I am looking for. Looking for a deeper connection with myself, my Higher Power? Trying to fill it with endless doing and instead of being present for what is right in front of me.

At the moment sitting in the yard, the morning is cool, 65-70 degrees, there is gentle breeze shimmering the emerald-green trees, there is a mocking-bird making riotous sounds, the dogs lazily laying at my feet, attentive but dozing, ready to move at the slightest stirring of chipmunk or squirrel or unrecognized sound. There is the fragrance of honeysuckle reaching my senses from across the yard and the earthy tang of try grass. The pages of my books flutter in the breeze as if silent guest where reading them, imparting the words on the wind. So what more could a person desire at this moment? Of course nothing.


I just looked over and the inside page of a book all blank except for the words in center on the top 3/4 of the page, The Artist’s Way. Nothing else, offering a symbol of an empty page, each day is an empty page, reading to be written, ready to be primed and painted, prepared to be photographed in is awesome glorious unfoldment. Each day we have those opportunity to create a new paradise, a new work of art, our lives. Yes of course, we can add to or take away from that which came before, yet beginning fresh is always the opportunity to be diverse, to try a new experience, to meet a new challenge, to discover new jewels to spark light all over your surroundings.

The emptiness of the search when there is no goal or object/subject to behold, to unwrap, to explore is an empty page, a blank canvas, an unfocused shot awaiting our attention, our patients, our language in whatever form that expresses itself would be futile if consciousness was not brought forth.

The consciousness said take your second walk of the morning in the form of Muffin, getting up, bringing her self over to me saying come on time to walk, nudging my hand off the computer. Camera in had, companion animals leading and following along the path we journeyed into the wood, cool dark yet illuminated by light glimmering through the breaks in the leaves of the trees creating pools of light along the paths like stained glass windows of a cathedral lighting the isles along the pews…

In those moments I began to feel fulfilled and moved once again, nature was calling, the muse was singing, and I had been to busy searching to truly hear her call, finally the song was to strong, the desire urging forth to be embraced and consummated.


Growth Question: What small and gentle goals do your set for yourself each day?


15 thoughts on “Searching”

  1. Jeff – An eloquent post. I especially enjoyed, “The pages of my books flutter in the breeze as if silent guest where reading them, imparting the words on the wind.”

    Growth Question: What small and gentle goals do your set for yourself each day?

    Today is simple. Nothing pressing or urgent. I’m simply sending query letters and having company coming for a cuppa tea this afternoon.

  2. Such a deep drink of kindness in your post today Jeff. I am not always good with small gentle goals set each day. I am usually gnawing on a piece of a larger project with the tenacity of a grizzly bear cub. Only when a chunk of work is behind me to I seem to find the peace that is evident in your morning. It could be putting the laundry in, posting a post, going for a long walk or preparing the ground on a canvas for a painting. Whatever it is, it has to be something tangible and then I can say… what else might I like to do today? What part of one of my big project is drawing my attention to it? Today I shall focus on a small and gentle goal as per your guidance.

    1. Terrill,

      Another wondrous comment, “such a deep drink of kindness in your post today Jeff.” My life is just filling with beautiful light! Blessing on you!
      Yes, I see how you plan and are motivated it for it shows in your writing and your art. I am not aware of what goes on in your mind pre se but I understand!

  3. The very word “goal” strikes fear in my heart! I have to tiptoe up to my daily to-do list, which I purposely keep very short. Martha Beck taught me that. If I can pick up a brush, even for just a short time, each day, I feel I can hold up my head. Everything else is icing, and I usually feel so buoyed by having picked up that brush that I am indeed able to go on and face THE LIST. And then I take a nap….

    1. Melissa,

      Thank you so much for your comment. I don’t know how I missed it almost a year ago. Yes doing that one action is right direction, picking up a brush, taking the camera on a walk, awakening to the possibilities !

  4. This was poetry, Jeff, with equisitely perfect simple photos. It is lovely to capture those moments sitting there outside with your dogs. I wanted to hold that image forever. Being totally present in the moment is such a relief, yet we often are not there, thinking about what we have to do next or worried about what may or may not happen tomorrow. Being present helps us prepare for our possible futures — and there are a lot of future possibilities. My small and gentle goal is to be present with each moment as much as I can, to be fully with myself and whatever is the focus of my attention.

  5. Poetry you say! equisitely perfect simple photos you write! Aaawww! Beautiful thank you. I am glad I could step out of my way and share those moments. Shine beauty into the world! I was a special moment even for me.
    Last night, some of the guys were talking about Mindful meditation, and how it allows them to be more in the moment. This was so what had happened!
    Thank you Barbara!

  6. What a serene morning you described, Jeff. I can smell the honeysuckle and see Muffin nudging your hand off the keyboard… And the stunning simplicity of your photos, focusing on exquisite little blessings… Beautiful!

    My small and gentle goals this week are healing ones – ten minutes of sunshine, twenty strokes on the versa-climber, ten minutes walking at a slower speed on the treadmill. Resting after sitting properly for thirty minutes…

    1. Barbara,

      Just re-reading this blog myself, and wondering who the heck wrote such words? Wow!
      then I find that I have missed at least three responses.
      The comments reflect that moment of beauty.
      Thank you, so much !

  7. I just read this again and felt the breeze blowing softly through your enchanting words. What small and gentle goals? To be more awake, to not beat myself up when I fall asleep within the dream, to be as present as possible. To not run from the emptiness of not-knowing. Sweet day to you, friend!

    1. Kathy,

      I just read this again myself and come to find everyones comments to be so true. As I read along the blog, I was outside myself, in wonder…
      Being present.
      I have a new follower and she has taken me back on this journey!
      And what do I find comments I had not responded too! Bless you Kathy!

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