hey amber rae

High-res 50 days. Of 100. Wow. A milestone moment. A half-way point. For a brief moment I feel that all-encompassing pressure I felt early on in this writing process to make this piece ever so evocative and riveting. To make this photo ever so memorable and moving. 

(Ick!)

More and more I’m learning to say “fuck off” to the self-destructive voice in my head telling me to make perfect first drafts. More and more I’m learning to say “thanks but no thanks” to the thinking that writing only happens when you force yourself in a studio for long stretches of time, despite the body’s natural urge to do otherwise. More and more I’m learning to live before writing. To experience before expressing. To turn the page and keep on, day after day after day. For quantity is the path to quality and process is far more important than the final product. 

As I look back in awe at these first 50 days, I see breakdowns and breakthroughs. I see teardrops and triumph. I see dots that I couldn’t have predicted would connect … and are still connecting. 

As I look forward on what’s next, I’m both nervous and elated. Frightened and fervent. Present and prepared. Prepared to let go of any and all expectation so that I can continually tap into this deep resounding feeling in my chest that says “you are exactly on path … turn the page and keep on.” 

Day 50 of 100. #the100daybook #the100dayproject  (at In the air)

50 days. Of 100. Wow. A milestone moment. A half-way point. For a brief moment I feel that all-encompassing pressure I felt early on in this writing process to make this piece ever so evocative and riveting. To make this photo ever so memorable and moving.

(Ick!)

More and more I’m learning to say “fuck off” to the self-destructive voice in my head telling me to make perfect first drafts. More and more I’m learning to say “thanks but no thanks” to the thinking that writing only happens when you force yourself in a studio for long stretches of time, despite the body’s natural urge to do otherwise. More and more I’m learning to live before writing. To experience before expressing. To turn the page and keep on, day after day after day. For quantity is the path to quality and process is far more important than the final product.

As I look back in awe at these first 50 days, I see breakdowns and breakthroughs. I see teardrops and triumph. I see dots that I couldn’t have predicted would connect … and are still connecting.

As I look forward on what’s next, I’m both nervous and elated. Frightened and fervent. Present and prepared. Prepared to let go of any and all expectation so that I can continually tap into this deep resounding feeling in my chest that says “you are exactly on path … turn the page and keep on.”

Day 50 of 100. #the100daybook #the100dayproject (at In the air)

High-res This is one of the most important questions I ask myself. With every invite, opportunity and request — is this a place where I will expand or will I have to shrink to make this work? And when that body-caving-in shrinking happens (rather than heart-opening expansion), I ask: how might I step into a place of expansion? Nearly all of my decisions stem from this place. Game-changing is an understatement. 

Day 49 of 100. #the100daybook #the100dayproject  (at Larkspur Ferry)

This is one of the most important questions I ask myself. With every invite, opportunity and request — is this a place where I will expand or will I have to shrink to make this work? And when that body-caving-in shrinking happens (rather than heart-opening expansion), I ask: how might I step into a place of expansion? Nearly all of my decisions stem from this place. Game-changing is an understatement.

Day 49 of 100. #the100daybook #the100dayproject (at Larkspur Ferry)

High-res We ran into the open field with our hair blowing behind us. The warm sun kissed our skin as our eyes sparkled with glee. Our steps rang through the air like thunder rumbling. “You always come back to where you feel free,” she whispered. 

Day 48 of 100. #the100daybook #the100dayproject  (at San Anselmo, CA)

We ran into the open field with our hair blowing behind us. The warm sun kissed our skin as our eyes sparkled with glee. Our steps rang through the air like thunder rumbling. “You always come back to where you feel free,” she whispered.

Day 48 of 100. #the100daybook #the100dayproject (at San Anselmo, CA)

High-res A few years ago, I learned to stop fighting my body’s natural urges from friend and mentor Derek Sivers. 

"Stop wrestling. Don’t fight it," he said. "Go with it, either direction."

You want to write? Write. Sleep? Sleep. Walk? Walk. Sit in your studio and stare at your walls? Sit and stare!

Last night I found myself wrestling in bed, exhausted, not in the space to do this post. So I curled up, closed my eyes and drifted off into dream land. 

I awoke with this memory of Derek in mind and a happy rested body. I quickly jumped out of bed and leapt up to this magical view.  

Trusting the natural rhythm of productivity, indeed. 

Day 46 of 100. #the100daybook #the100dayproject

 (at San Anselmo, CA)

A few years ago, I learned to stop fighting my body’s natural urges from friend and mentor Derek Sivers.

"Stop wrestling. Don’t fight it," he said. "Go with it, either direction."

You want to write? Write. Sleep? Sleep. Walk? Walk. Sit in your studio and stare at your walls? Sit and stare!

Last night I found myself wrestling in bed, exhausted, not in the space to do this post. So I curled up, closed my eyes and drifted off into dream land.

I awoke with this memory of Derek in mind and a happy rested body. I quickly jumped out of bed and leapt up to this magical view.

Trusting the natural rhythm of productivity, indeed.

Day 46 of 100. #the100daybook #the100dayproject

(at San Anselmo, CA)

High-res Head to toe chills every time I read this quote. Double chills when I realize that I can create this for myself. Every day. By making the choice to do so.  

Thank you @jamareaton for introducing me to this quote back in the day. ❤️

Day 45 of 100. #the100daybook #the100dayproject  (at Dogpatch)

Head to toe chills every time I read this quote. Double chills when I realize that I can create this for myself. Every day. By making the choice to do so.

Thank you @jamareaton for introducing me to this quote back in the day. ❤️

Day 45 of 100. #the100daybook #the100dayproject (at Dogpatch)

High-res Over 1000 paint cans. Naturally put together. No rhyme or reason; just flow. 

That’s what artist Ian Ross told me about his piece “Romance” at his opening last night. 

If you look closer, it appears as if two people are kissing. The right side embodies the feminine spirit as the left captures the masculine. 

And — are you ready for this? — this was completely unplanned.

What?! 

Unplanned and truly emergent. Letting go of what something ought to be. Allowing what it must be. Experiencing the unexpected right before your eyes.  

Ian wasn’t looking to create one grand masterpiece, it just happened to turn into that. One can of spray paint at a time. 

Day 44 of 100. #the100daybook #the100dayproject  (at Ian Ross Gallery)

Over 1000 paint cans. Naturally put together. No rhyme or reason; just flow.

That’s what artist Ian Ross told me about his piece “Romance” at his opening last night.

If you look closer, it appears as if two people are kissing. The right side embodies the feminine spirit as the left captures the masculine.

And — are you ready for this? — this was completely unplanned.

What?!

Unplanned and truly emergent. Letting go of what something ought to be. Allowing what it must be. Experiencing the unexpected right before your eyes.

Ian wasn’t looking to create one grand masterpiece, it just happened to turn into that. One can of spray paint at a time.

Day 44 of 100. #the100daybook #the100dayproject (at Ian Ross Gallery)

High-res Since beginning the #the100daybook 42 days ago, I’ve taken over 1500 photos. 

1500 photos! For 42 posts! 

That’s an average of about 35 photos (and 34 I’m-just-not-that-into-you shots) per day. 

Want to know the learning? It’s not about quantity over quality. Or tying everything. Or experimenting to see what works. 

It’s about falling in love with the moment, feeling the spark, and capturing the here and now. I always know when I’ve gotten the right shot. Not because I saw it, but because I felt it.

"Oooo got it," I’ll think, eyes closed and heart warming. "She’s the one."

Day 42 of 100. #the100dayproject

Since beginning the #the100daybook 42 days ago, I’ve taken over 1500 photos.

1500 photos! For 42 posts!

That’s an average of about 35 photos (and 34 I’m-just-not-that-into-you shots) per day.

Want to know the learning? It’s not about quantity over quality. Or tying everything. Or experimenting to see what works.

It’s about falling in love with the moment, feeling the spark, and capturing the here and now. I always know when I’ve gotten the right shot. Not because I saw it, but because I felt it.

"Oooo got it," I’ll think, eyes closed and heart warming. "She’s the one."

Day 42 of 100. #the100dayproject

High-res Sometimes the best way forward is to take a step back. 

To see where you are, where you’ve been, and where you’re going. To ask why. To remember the big picture. To forge a better path. 

A year ago today, do you remember where you stood?

Day 41 of 100. #the100daybook #the100dayproject (at Alcatraz Island)

Sometimes the best way forward is to take a step back.

To see where you are, where you’ve been, and where you’re going. To ask why. To remember the big picture. To forge a better path.

A year ago today, do you remember where you stood?

Day 41 of 100. #the100daybook #the100dayproject (at Alcatraz Island)

High-res A few days ago I stumbled into this magical tea house. The light illuminated the stone steps I climbed to enter the space and scents of wood and freshly brewed chamomile tea drew me inward. 

I nestled into the meditation cushion, closing my eyes and crossing my legs to begin the meditation practice.

As I breathed in and out, remembering to “notice my breath,” especially when my mind wanders (as it usually does), the thoughts and ideas only seemed to accelerate and multiply. 

"Notice your breath," I thought. *Idea. Idea. Idea.*

"Notice your breath!!" I asserted again. *More ideas. More thoughts. More wandering.*

"Notice your breath," I thought again, calmly this time. 

In a buzz of swarming urges that were only growing louder, I unexpectedly yelled out, “I hear you!” And suddenly the voices went quiet. I remembered I’m their creator. 

"I hear you," I said softly. And suddenly my shoulders softened.  

"I hear you," I said again. And suddenly the moment enraptured me. 

"I hear you": three words that just might quiet the noise. 

Day 40 of 100. #the100daybook #the100dayproject  (at Alamo Square)

A few days ago I stumbled into this magical tea house. The light illuminated the stone steps I climbed to enter the space and scents of wood and freshly brewed chamomile tea drew me inward.

I nestled into the meditation cushion, closing my eyes and crossing my legs to begin the meditation practice.

As I breathed in and out, remembering to “notice my breath,” especially when my mind wanders (as it usually does), the thoughts and ideas only seemed to accelerate and multiply.

"Notice your breath," I thought. *Idea. Idea. Idea.*

"Notice your breath!!" I asserted again. *More ideas. More thoughts. More wandering.*

"Notice your breath," I thought again, calmly this time.

In a buzz of swarming urges that were only growing louder, I unexpectedly yelled out, “I hear you!” And suddenly the voices went quiet. I remembered I’m their creator.

"I hear you," I said softly. And suddenly my shoulders softened.

"I hear you," I said again. And suddenly the moment enraptured me.

"I hear you": three words that just might quiet the noise.

Day 40 of 100. #the100daybook #the100dayproject (at Alamo Square)

High-res I met a 47-year old yogi the other night who didn’t look a day over 30, both in energy and appearance. “What’s your secret?” I asked him. “Let other people carry their shit,” he said quickly and definitively. 
Hearing this hit me in the gut. 
As someone who can feel other people’s energy intensely, I have a tendency to pick it up and carry it with me. To take it personally. To let it weigh me down. 
There are two strategies I’m playing with lately to navigate this:

a. “That totally sucks. That saddens me to hear that.” When things aren’t going well for others, I’ll acknowledge and empathize with heart and share what is alive in me by hearing about their situation. 
And depending on the circumstances and closeness of the connection, I’ll ask:

b. “How can I support you?” I find myself torn up when I’m uncertain as to how I can be of service and support when challenges arise. Asking this simple question takes the pressure off and encourages the other person to clarify their ask. “Oh there’s nothing for you to do! This is a me thing.” or “I’d love if you could do this one thing…” or “I just need you to hold space like you are right now…” are some of the responses I’ve received lately. 
Which brings me to: works well for you?

Day 39 of 100. #the100daybook #the100dayproject

I met a 47-year old yogi the other night who didn’t look a day over 30, both in energy and appearance. “What’s your secret?” I asked him. “Let other people carry their shit,” he said quickly and definitively.
Hearing this hit me in the gut.
As someone who can feel other people’s energy intensely, I have a tendency to pick it up and carry it with me. To take it personally. To let it weigh me down.
There are two strategies I’m playing with lately to navigate this:

a. “That totally sucks. That saddens me to hear that.” When things aren’t going well for others, I’ll acknowledge and empathize with heart and share what is alive in me by hearing about their situation.
And depending on the circumstances and closeness of the connection, I’ll ask:

b. “How can I support you?” I find myself torn up when I’m uncertain as to how I can be of service and support when challenges arise. Asking this simple question takes the pressure off and encourages the other person to clarify their ask. “Oh there’s nothing for you to do! This is a me thing.” or “I’d love if you could do this one thing…” or “I just need you to hold space like you are right now…” are some of the responses I’ve received lately.
Which brings me to: works well for you?

Day 39 of 100. #the100daybook #the100dayproject

High-res Is play a waste of time? 
Studies show it makes us smarter and more adaptable. “A lack of play should be treated like malnutrition,” says Stuart Brown M.D. “It’s a health risk to your body and your mind.” So let’s play today, shall we?

p.s. shoutout to my friend @charliehoehn for the recent release of his book, “Play It Away” — a glimpse into how he cured his anxiety through play. 
Day 38 of 100. #the100daybook #the100dayproject (at Marshall’s Beach‎)

Is play a waste of time?
Studies show it makes us smarter and more adaptable. “A lack of play should be treated like malnutrition,” says Stuart Brown M.D. “It’s a health risk to your body and your mind.” So let’s play today, shall we?

p.s. shoutout to my friend @charliehoehn for the recent release of his book, “Play It Away” — a glimpse into how he cured his anxiety through play.
Day 38 of 100. #the100daybook #the100dayproject (at Marshall’s Beach‎)

High-res This morning I decided to hop a ferry from San Francisco to Larkspur to catch up with a dear friend and collaborator in Marin. In between quiet moments in nature, mountain hikes and lake picnics, we dived into how our paths are crossing and where there is potential for more expansion together. 

One thing that came up in conversation is how we describe ourselves and our life—in one word. This concept was first introduced to me by @elleluna and it’s led to many deep convos and insights since. 

So, I’m curious: what’s your one word? 

Mine is Inspire. 

Day 37 of 100. #the100daybook #the100dayproject 
 (at Golden Gate Ferry)

This morning I decided to hop a ferry from San Francisco to Larkspur to catch up with a dear friend and collaborator in Marin. In between quiet moments in nature, mountain hikes and lake picnics, we dived into how our paths are crossing and where there is potential for more expansion together.

One thing that came up in conversation is how we describe ourselves and our life—in one word. This concept was first introduced to me by @elleluna and it’s led to many deep convos and insights since.

So, I’m curious: what’s your one word?

Mine is Inspire.

Day 37 of 100. #the100daybook #the100dayproject
(at Golden Gate Ferry)

High-res Tasting worm salt for the first time. Dipping my pinky in Mescal and putting it on my palm. Smelling the smokiness. Feeling the heat. Sipping the drink and letting it sit in my mouth. Watching how it lingers. 

To savor. 

To pause, feel, smell, taste and fully engage the senses. 

To be intoxicated by the present moment, connecting with strangers, sharing stories, and letting the moment unravel naturally. 

To remember that life isn’t short; it’s actually quite long. Especially when we remember to savor each day. 

Day 36 of 100. #the100daybook #the100dayproject  (at La Urbana)

Tasting worm salt for the first time. Dipping my pinky in Mescal and putting it on my palm. Smelling the smokiness. Feeling the heat. Sipping the drink and letting it sit in my mouth. Watching how it lingers.

To savor.

To pause, feel, smell, taste and fully engage the senses.

To be intoxicated by the present moment, connecting with strangers, sharing stories, and letting the moment unravel naturally.

To remember that life isn’t short; it’s actually quite long. Especially when we remember to savor each day.

Day 36 of 100. #the100daybook #the100dayproject (at La Urbana)

High-res "Pull the coconut from your face," my friend @victorsaad said to me the other day. 

He said this as I was putting way too much pressure on myself. As I was romanticizing the writing and creative process. As I was expecting myself to create perfect first drafts. 

"Imagine holding a coconut to your face," Victor continued. "All you can see is the hairiness of the coconut. If you pull it away from your face, you’ll notice the beauty of the tree it fell from, the environment it landed, and, if you pay close attention, you’ll notice that it’s remarkably sweet."

Ahhh beautiful perspective. 

Day 35 of 100. #the100daybook #the100dayproject 
 (at Factory 1000)

"Pull the coconut from your face," my friend @victorsaad said to me the other day.

He said this as I was putting way too much pressure on myself. As I was romanticizing the writing and creative process. As I was expecting myself to create perfect first drafts.

"Imagine holding a coconut to your face," Victor continued. "All you can see is the hairiness of the coconut. If you pull it away from your face, you’ll notice the beauty of the tree it fell from, the environment it landed, and, if you pay close attention, you’ll notice that it’s remarkably sweet."

Ahhh beautiful perspective.

Day 35 of 100. #the100daybook #the100dayproject
(at Factory 1000)