It’s been a great week after a challenging beginning to March. I was away from my home and studio/office for work and unexpected family reasons for ~two weeks this month and I returned home feeling exhausted and overwhelmed by my projects. I needed some pick-me-ups to feel better and back on track with my energy and focus. When I get down, I try to remind myself to “trust in process,” words a college mentor told me. It reminds me to tackle projects in small, daily steps, and to take care of myself. Eat well, exercise daily, rest, clean-up (a clean house/studio always energizes me)…

As I’ve recovered, I’ve found a few other sources of inspiration and self-care:

• this website offers a space to write morning pages, as inspired by Julia Cameron’s The Artist Way. I’ve written morning pages in the past in a journal, but I’ve enjoyed sorting out my thoughts and day online in mornings, especially as I manage my tasks and to-dos on my computer with Things.

• Yogamazing video podcast: I wake up early (typically 5am) and love to start my day stretching in front of the wood stove. I recently discovered this great quality video podcast by Chaz Rough and enjoying following the series on my iPod Touch. (He’s a bit chatty at times, but otherwise wonderful). At least a dozen of the 20-30min videos are available for free in the iTunes Store.

The following videos also wonderful: Ira Glass-whom-I-adore talking about improving craftsmanship and Srikumar Rao on “investing in the process” and not the outcome.

Both these videos made me reflect on what my brushmaker friend in Japan once told me, “Before you can think of becoming a master you must make at least 10,000 pieces.” (Read related blog post)

On the note of being productive with my art, here’s a Bird of the Day card- the Northern Pygmy Owl! I just saw one today by our barn, a fierce, tiny, grumpy/incredibly cute looking bird that was being scolded by two Say’s Phoebes.

What steps do you follow to re-center and re-focus?