the sun is still rising the wind is still blowing and no matter the landscape you are still growing. you are still growing. even when your mind is anxious and you feel lost indoors l, trying to make sense of a place e you have been before, i hope you can trust that the sun is still rising, even if you don’t watch it rise a h. you have not missed out on what was meant for you, even when it seems that way. you have not missed out on what was meant for you you have not missed out on what was meant for you: a life where even through brokenness morning mercy morning light shines through. things will change. yes, things will change. hour by hour, and day by day. you will grieve what could have been and what is no longer the same, and you will shine, on anyway. you will shine on, anyway. so here’s new beginnings sunrise into sunrise: you have not seen everything yet, through it all, you are still alive. mhn this series was prompted by today’s challenge for the #makethingsapril project with @hitrecord. the theme is “sunrise.” the original photo of this project is a picture of a sunrise that i took on my phone during an uncertain time in my life. i felt lost indoors during that time, and yet, out the window, there was this glorious sunrise. i had forgotten about this photograph until i went back and looked at it this morning. i love watching the sunrise, and this morning, i didn’t wake up in time. but this photograph was a reminder that i do not have to watch the sun rise to be reminded again and again, all throughout my life, even in the most uncertain times, light pours in. - morgan download all of the art from this series on the latest post on my blog! morganharpernichols.com
what a beautiful thing it is to notice how the flower still grows, in the still and quiet moments of life. even when we are rushing by, busy, not having enough time to notice her growth, she still springs up. she still blooms from right there, in her pot, by the window...and it is enough. to the busy eye, it may not seem like much, but far beyond our lack of noticing, there is always growth. her growth may be slow, but it is steady. it is still growth. even if it doesn’t seem like we’re growing in every area of our lives, perhaps we can breathe deep and remember the greater landscape. yes, we are having to wait. and this is also true: once again, we are a day older. we have carried so much shoulders and we are also learning to lay those things down. we are learning to look around, and learn from where we are right now. this new space can be overwhelming. there are many unknowns here. there is loss. suffering. struggle. so let us, as long as we are here, remind one another that it’s okay to not have all the answers here. it’s okay to be here, in this new space, knowing every moment, though unknown, is wrapped in grace. and maybe, in grace we will find room for dried flowers to have their place and for new ones to bloom. we may have never been here before, but we have known what it means to be stretched. we have known what it means to still grow, no matter what is unknown. ii this is an excerpt from an essay i wrote about a conversation i had with friend and fellow poet and artist @arielleestoria. originally, this was going to be an in-person conversation, and due to recent events surrounding covid-19, we decided to talk on the phone. as i went back and listened, i wanted to reflect on the ways i was inspired by arielle in our conversation. here is the result. click the link in my bio to read, download the art, or listen to the podcast version! @morganharpernichols
5 little notes to write to yourself. write them in your journal. on your calendar. on a sticky note. make a painting out of them. little things to remind you of what you worth. 1 note to self: you are worthy of love 2 note to self: you have come so far 3 note to self: you are more than what’s behind you 4 note to self: you are worthy of love no matter who does or not notice you 5 note to self: you are worthy of love right here as you are let’s make things! feel free to write/letter/send these however you like for personal use! and if you share any of it, feel free to use the hashtag #morganharpernichols so i can see what you create! i’d love to respond and also share some. i love to make art because it slows me down and brings me so much peace, and i am equally as passionate about helping others do the same. new music! today my sister @jamiegraceh and i released an ep called ‘songs for our children’ as our duo @harperstill. we both have 8 month olds, and these are words and melodies that came to mind as we thought of them. available on spotify, apple music, etc — link for all music platforms is in the bio at @harperstill !
perhaps, right here in the chaos there are still books to read and you do not have to have answers for everything to be present to the highs and lows and wholeness of a story. and despite not knowing where each chapter will lead, you feel a little less alone today, because this author who has filled the page is sharing her strengths and struggles with you, because you yes, you, are worthy of quiet moments after long weeks when you thought you would unravel at the seams. here you are, finding peace right here in the chaos of things. ii what i learned from painting today: the moment in hillside, with the lantern was there all along, waiting to be carved out, relieved, and it just took some while for it to see. the woman, eager to read, deep into the night, she was there all along. one of the gifts that slowness in the present moment gives is the chance to see things more deeply than we saw them before in places of chaos busyness hurriedness if we dare to stay present if we dare to look closer we see that all along, we are free to live life to the full right here, no matter what is missing mhn
give your all. hold nothing back. grace will meet you in the wildness no matter what you lack. in grace i hope you find, you are more prepared than you think. you’ve been holding back from taking the leaps because of the depths you have yet to reached. and perhaps there is no way guarantee you will always have to be able to play it safe and you will have to ease into the present moment, and come alive in an open space. but you will be okay even if you come forth afraid, you do not have to be fearless before you can be brave. enter into the wildness. step into the light. trust that despite what is missing, there is abundant room to be alright. come, and be out in the open. and when you feel overwhelmed by the present moment, i hope you can be all the more overwhelmed by grace. trust that you can be present here no matter the things you fear. and in this life you will not be able to figure it all out but there will be more than enough peace going ever-beyond your furthest doubts. so dare to explore what it means to come alive right now. find peace, abundant peace, more than you’ll ever need and come into the light and let light happen something riveting beautiful and entirely unexpected, despite your persistent feeling of lostness, all along, you were being directed. let light do what light does let light do what light does come into the wildness and be undone. mhn
for me, "free painting" is: no planning, just painting! i love to create a plan for my artwork and this exercise challenges me to just paint freely without worrying about what the outcome might be. the point is to just try and not be afraid to make mistakes. to paint just to paint. i love making artwork on my ipad, and this is also true: the “undo” button has become a good friend of mine. i delete pieces i don’t like easily and never think of them again. painting on actual paper challenges me to be more present and to also, just keep going when i make mistakes. my projects do not have to be perfect in order to reflect beauty. i hope to carry the lessons art teaches me into every area of my life. it is far too easy to put so many expectations on myself as to how i think things should turn out, and i am so grateful for these moments just to be present. ii materials: - acrylic paint (any acrylic paint will do!) - jar of water - canson mixed media art pads - offwhite card stock paper song: a little bit of “free singing” i recorded just to have some background music for the video. let's call it "beautiful things" :) ii atlanta and nashville! can’t wait to see you this week! tix morganharpernichols.com/events
you are still worthy of love. you are still worthy of knowing what it means to know to love and to be loved. i am sorry for the one who broke your trust. i am sorry for the one who took you for granted. you should have never known what it meant for a heart to be broken in that way. but you are worthy of love, anyway. you are worthy of being able to move forward in beautiful, healing ways. you may feel the burden of the brokenness right now, but there is still much more to your story. your life is not a checklist. just because the things you hoped for have fallen out of place does not mean you cannot keep living a meaningful, purposeful life. as long as you are breathing, you are not out of time. no matter what is not checked off on the “list,” you are still being called to go on the journey. even amidst the brokenness. even amidst the sadness. these feelings are real, but this is not all there is to you. and you are going to move on. my friend, you are going to move on. you are going to wake up one day and realize: certain things no longer bother you. they may cross your mind from time to time, but it will not feel the same, and it is then you will realize: you have grown in beautiful, healing ways. you have spent so many nights trying to communicate what you feel. you have spent so many years trying to get to the core of it all. you have wondered what you missed or what you could have done differently. and you have also been invited to step into light and believe that even amidst the brokenness, you still have the capacity for love. the one that hurt you could not take that from you. and love will look different here and in the seasons to come, but that will be a beautiful thing. you will find this was what you were needing: a new beginning. a new way of living. a new way of trusting that despite the one who broke your trust, you were still free to hope, to believe, to love.
you are already a little further than you were a month ago. you are already experiencing slow and steady growth. you are not who you were on december 7th. you have already lived through dozens of new sunsets and nearly half a million minutes. and through all of them, you were breathing. through some of them, you were even singing, thinking, dreaming, hoping for what was to come. this is proof: you have learned to come alive no matter the chaos around you and no matter how long it seems to take for light to pour through. so take a deep breath. allow yourself to count every little thing that is slightly different since a month ago, and realize just how easy it is to lose count. may you never mistake the slowness of a season for a lack of movement. there is always something worth noticing moment into moment. and sometimes,you do not need to take a leap. you only need to take a step. you only need to trust it’s through the day to day you will be led to further depths. so many things in this world grow quickly but it seems to be that far more take months, years, decades, and as enticing as fast growth may seem it’s what comes from the slow growth that stays. so let yourself grow slowly, let yourself trust, your roots are growing deeper with every morning sun. and from day to day, month to month, it matters how far you have come. do not be discouraged by those who are rushing around you. time moves quickly, but it will not move any quicker than it is moving right now and even the fastest, most efficient amongst us will eventually slow down to this sweet remembrance: slowness is not weakness it is simply how many things must grow. so may today be one of those days you take it all moment by moment rushing in and out of nothing showing up, as you are, unhurried. for even here in the chaos of it all you are allowed to slow down and breathe, finding brave and brand new ways to see every present day as something meaningful, strangely beautiful, and even in the slowness, worth living for. you are already a little further than you were a month ago. you are already a little further than you were a month ago. mhn
one day you will look back and be so glad you chose to not give up on love. you will look back and see that even amidst the brokenness, the openness led to healing and hope that even though you had lost so much, there was still more life to go. you will find that even though love looks different than what you expected, you were still being directed, and love was still abundant. grace was still abundant, and you were free to fall into the rhythms of trusting...trusting that no matter what was missing, there was still room in this world for your tired soul to see: you had not yet seen everything you were meant to see. you had not met yet everyone you were meant to meet...including your future self. and all along, you were worthy of love, belonging, and joy just as much as anyone else. having hope for the future does not mean you think everything will go perfectly and according to plan. it means you are choosing to believe you can keep an open hand. to hold the flower. the paintbrush. the camera. the fruit. any little thing that reminds you: after everything, you are free to keep going. even in the waiting, you are free to keep creating. this year is already shaping up to be a little different than what you expected it to be, but you are not worth any less because plans have changed. you are changing in beautiful ways, beyond what you can see today. hold on. keep trusting. you do not have to be invincible before you can be strong. you are still moving right along. you might have to carry on without the one you thought was going to be there or without the places or the rooms you thought were going hold you, but you are still free to have the audacity to believe: there is more ahead of you. you have not missed out on what was meant for you. i hope you look back and are so proud of who you were this january. i hope you see someone who was learning to be strong, even after so much went wrong. i hope you see someone anchored in hope, trusting, in the grace: there was still more life to go. mhn
midnight is over. morning is here. emerge and live freely beyond your old fears. after everything you have even though, this day is brand new and you are so much more than all that lies behind you. there is so much still unknown and many ways for you to grow, but may you never underestimate the depths that grace is running through your soul. even here, there is hope. you are free to start again. look beyond your fears, and see where light gets in. for years, so many things have held you back: “i’m too much of this” and “i’m not enough of that” but all along, you have learning to trust grow and be, to unfold and emerge from your cocoon alive free. come alive come alive you have come so far. now is to time to be more of who you are. ii happy new year! morgan
i hope today is the day you find hope for the future in the most subtle ways. i hope when you are looking around this same old room and it seems like nothing has change, you remember that far beneath your layers, you are growing in beautiful ways. and every new day, and even every new breath is a subtle act of resilience. a reminder of a strength you may not have even realized you had. the mere fact that you’re here today is proof that for all the things that happened to you or around you are experiences you made it through, and you are still making it through, even when it doesn’t feel like it. so hold on with hope. trust that the future can be beautiful despite all you do not know. listen to the beat of your heart and be at awe at how it has continued to beat, year after the year, no matter the sorrows you have held. no matter the days lined with fear. let your beautifully resilient heart remind you: there is a reason you are here. so when you can’t wrap your mind around the idea of how the future can beautiful, remember that you don’t have to. you are free to trust that this moment right in front you leads to something more. you are free to hope for life of depth, far beyond the shore. it is okay if you don’t see it yet. it is okay if there are days where you do not feel like being strong. you are still traveling along, day by day, breath by breath, a million small acts of resilience, proof that you are not finished yet. the future can still be beautiful. you are free to look forward with hope. mhn
sometimes, you have to let go. you have to accept: some of trees you thought were evergreen would only hold leaves for a season. you have to realize that sometimes the conversations you thought would lead to more, new horizons, open doors… might not lead to the results you were looking for. but in all of this letting go, you slowly begin to find: your heart kept you breathing one breath at a time. a sign that hope is still abundant within you, even when you don’t know why. so let this be the december you always remember. the december you chose to believe: letting go did not make you weak. and you are free to start over with or without the closure. no matter the uncertainty, you are free to know peace. for all of the words you never got to say and all of the little things that will never be the same, i truly believe you are going to be okay. you will find new rhythms no matter what has changed. because in just one month everything changed, and you kept breathing, anyway. you kept believing after everything, this was not the end of your story. and breath by breath, you learned to embrace s u r r e n d e r: “i am slowly learning to accept the way things are changing. not a single thing i am missing has kept me from becoming.” - mhn thank you for reading! all of these pieces are written with specific stories in mind. you are free to dm me a story/topic/question any time and i randomly select people to respond to, with art and poetry.
i cannot tell you what tomorrow holds but i can tell you that you do just have to sort through everything tonight. i can tell you that being “alright” doesn’t always look like laughing or dancing and that’s okay...often time it’s that slow trek through the canyons that you learn to travel day by day. it’s a deep knowing (even when you can’t see it) that you are loved while you feel this way. you did not see this year turning out this way, and the plans that seemed steady have fallen out of place, but even here, even now, you have not fallen from grace; this glorious, gritty unmerited favor that shows up everyday, reminding you: you are loved...even while you feel this way. and it is okay to say, “this is hard.” it is okay if things are not the same. it is okay if there are feelings that are strong, but they are confusing and too hard to name. for more than you were meant to sort through all of this, you were meant to trust and let go. you were meant to go through every stage it takes to learn, heal, and grow. all of this is a process. a slow journey through the canyons. a deepening into the experience of learning how to just be, and find peace, right here in the mess of things. knowing that even when you can’t touch it or name it, you will still find the strength you need. you will wake up morning and realize: all along, you were guided. you were seen. mhn
all of the wildflowers i’ve ever known have been countless in open fields, letting the winds have their will, and still choosing to spring and rise. steady roots, delicate blooms, no matter which chooses to stop and notice them. and my soul finds peace at the sight of them, for i too have learned to grow in the wild of being broken open, my healing journey’s valley lows. and when i was certain i had reached my end, light came pouring through, a hope that reached every part of me, singing “even here, there is more to you, no matter who does or does not notice you. unfold into your bloom no matter who does or does not notice you.” - mhn
i just hope you know it’s okay if this year didn’t look like how you thought it would a year ago. yes, you can always look back and say what you should’ve have done differently, how you should’ve worked harder, or what you should’ve said that night when everything fell apart. but you can also say this to yourself: “a lot of things happened this year that i could not have foreseen. and even if i didn’t move through it all perfectly, i am no less worthy of love and a meaningful life right here, where i am.” it’s okay to change directions. its okay to change the way you think about things. it’s okay to take a chance on a new way of seeing or doing something. it’s okay to let go and hope for better. you are not stuck on a loop. every day is brand new. the sun never rises or sets the same way day by day. no matter how similar they all seem, those trees outside your window are not all the same. and no matter how much you feel like you should be like someone else (including your past self), you are not the same. you cannot compare what you’re doing now to what use to do. you cannot compare yourself to the people beside or above you. and you are going to be okay. not perfect, but okay. and i know it doesn’t seem like it on these ordinary days, when the holidays are hanging over your head, and you would rather stay in bed, but trust that right here, you are still whole. and though chaos rises up around you, you are free to be well in your soul, clinging to joy and peace, right in the wild of things. as you look back on the year, may you do so with compassion. as you look forward to the future, may you do so with courage. as you lean into the present moment, lean into the lessons that you can learn here. it might not make every issue go away, but it will help you grow in the grace, where you will then realize: everything you are going through come help someone else...including yourself. there is someone a few miles away from you than can learn from all you have been through. there is strength you are gathering here that you can’t even see yet that will necessary for your next step. trust that the journey does not have to be perfect in order to be whole and beautiful.
on strength, blooming, bravery, joy and breathing — a few longer reads, for a slower saturday. i love to share shorter pieces but i also know that sometimes there are slower moments where we’re just scrolling through, and if that’s where you are, i hope one of these words/pieces speak to you! let me know in the comments if you have a favorite. and feel free to join me this week in the iphone app storyteller (android coming soon) for a new series called “making space.” - visit @thestorytellerco to download the free 7 day trial (obligation free - just enjoy the free 7 days!)
maybe you could try to prove yourself to them or maybe, you could just try to come alive right where you are. maybe you would only ever make it so far if you poured all of your energy into trying to keep up. i hope you never empty yourself over someone who never filled you up. i hope you never wear yourself to the ground for those who never offered a hand to lift you. i hope you can make peace with knowing that you’ve been underestimated, misunderstood, and overlooked and you are free to have the audacity to shine on, anyway. please let this be the season you become that version of yourself that you know you will be proud when you look back. you do not have to climb their ladder to be happy. you do not have to fall in love with them to know what it means to be loved at all. loneliness is a strong presence, but love is even stronger, and one of it’s strengths is finding creative ways to remind you: you are seen. say goodbye to worry. trust: you will be fine. you can brave this new season one day at a time. trust you are so much more than the sum of what your critics said you would be. you are shining beautifully and brightly, no matter that ones that seemed to look through you. and as you wait for the moment where you feel truly loved and seen again, let this be the time you start to look within, and see that right here, all by grace, you are whole. you are not missing anything in the well of your soul. there is still a path beneath your feet leading you where you need to be. - mhn
some of the most beautiful things grow in seemingly unlikely places. plants do not only grow in the fresh soil of rolling green fields that receive the right amount of sunshine and rain. they also grow underwater, in the dark, in the winter, in the desert. they grow in the places most would never think to look. even here, in your uncertainty, there is room for growth. there is room for you to look at your failed dreams and figure out what it would mean to start dreaming again. and it’s true, it won’t be the same when you start again, because you are not the same. you have learned and grown so much since the time you originally began. now is not the time not to merely pick apart the flaws of the original dream, but to look at why you started and began there. it’s time to take a closer look at the things that are still probing at your curiosity all these years later. go back to the plants you put in the ground long ago. go back and identify the withering branches that need to be cut off and the branches that are surprisingly still hanging on. remember, pruning plants can actually help them thrive. reevaluating this season of your life doesn’t automatically mean throwing everything away, even if you just want a clean slate. there are still lessons that you have gathered along the way that will prepare you for whatever plants you decide to plant or nurture today. not everything has been wasted. you can learn from where you’ve been. those earlier dreams are still a part of your story, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of it didn’t quite work out. you can still be proud of yourself for choosing to start something. you can still have grace for yourself for the year you took a break. you can still celebrate how far you have come even if it included treading through a valley of failures and disappointments. you are in a new season now, and no matter what it looks like, beautiful things can still come to life here. you have not missed out on your growth. you have not missed out on what was meant for you. - morgan
through the wild of all your worries and things you wish you could have said, the fears from long ago that refuse to leave your head, in the reckless, gritty chaos of things, you are loved and you are seen, and even here, at 2 a.m., you can know boundless peace. you will find the strength you need one breath at a time and you will learn that "being fine" is not always being all right, but of slowly slouching toward the light letting your tired soul be tired as your body bends toward rest, knowing this is what you need, yes, my dear friend rest is what you need. even in the depths of that decade-long unanswered prayer, where it is getting harder to fight the inner cynic screaming at you: “no one even cares,” even there, even there, your room is filled with more than shadows the dullest blue of the distant moon is still shining you, and maybe, even reminding you from 238,000 miles away you have not been forgotten, you are still wrapped in grace. in the reckless, gritty chaos of things, you are loved and you are seen, and even here, at 2 a.m., you can know boundless peace. mhn #worldsmentalhealthday
you are stronger than you think. even in the most subtle ways that go beyond what you can see. every mountain you have climbed and every valley you have tread through have all been integral parts of how this life has shaped you. never discredit yourself. you have learned so many things and through the wild of where you have been, you are stronger than you think. mhn