The courage to begin.

A few days ago, I began my SoulDog Journey Project. I’d been thinking about it for a long time, but I was afraid to start. I didn’t know what I wanted to start with. I didn’t want my art to suck. I was worried I’d fail, and that I’d hate everything.

The courage to begin.

I've been thinking a lot about the courage it takes to begin.

The past three years of my life have been mostly about endings. So much so that at times, I’ve found myself afraid of beginning. And afraid of allowing myself the hope of something new, something lasting, or even something fleeting. And especially something full of joy.

I have feared that beginning equals forgetting or denying what was. That experiencing joy dishonors what I’ve grieved. I know, logically, this is not true. But a broken heart does not live within the realm of logic. It seeks comfort. And sometimes that means staying in the dark where you do not have to see the dark.

Stepping toward the light and into joy is an act of acknowledging and facing the pain, and it is also an act of embracing possibility. This is the courage to begin. Courage needed to move toward something new. Something that honors and holds what was, what is, and what can be.

This is hope. This is life. This is everything.

A few days ago, I began my SoulDog Journey Project. I’d been thinking about it for a long time, but I was afraid to start. I didn’t know what I wanted to start with. I didn’t want my art to suck. I was worried I’d fail, and that I’d hate everything.

But then I just decided to begin despite my fears, in acceptance of uncertainty, with hope and faith that beginning would be enough.

And it was. I realized it was okay to be afraid. It was okay to be worried that my art would suck - it did! And then it didn’t!

And I stopped caring whether or not it was good because as I allowed myself to begin creating, and to continue experimenting, all I saw was my girl, coming to life on the paper in front of me. My Soul Dog who is no longer here in body, but lives on through me and this art I create.

As I sat there exploring my creative options, I was full of joy - uncontainable joy that radiated out of me like I was five years old and unashamed of my own light.

I had fun. I played. I trusted the process. I let it be wild. And in doing so, I freed myself. I found my courage to begin, and then my courage to keep going.

The new edition of SoulDog Journey Project is launching soon, and it includes access to my new community, SoulDog Wonder Collective!!!

In December 2021, I created The Soul Dog Journey Project course (consisting of 52 weekly prompts to help you capture your journey with the dog you love) several months after my Soul Dog, Kerouac, died. I wrote more about it in a blog post here in case you’d like to know more.

Even though the course focused on capturing the journey while your dog is still with you, I always meant to go through it myself as a retrospective of my journey with Kerouac. But at the time of launching it, it was too soon after losing her. And then I just needed more time to move through my grief.

At the start of this year, I knew I wanted to reimagine this course to have more flexibility in creative exploration, and to give new ideas for how and where to share our art outside of Instagram. Part of my journey of no longer sharing my art on social media has been creating new ways to share my art, and new ways to be in community.

With the new edition of the SoulDog Journey Project, I’m also launching my online community, SoulDog Wonder Collective where we will be able to explore our creativity, share our stories, and connect through our journeys with the dogs we love.

All of this is beginning in June (date TBD), but if you want to get a peek at the first three prompts, you can sign up to the waitlist, and I’ll send them over to you.

Over the next year, I will be working through my SoulDog Journey Project inside the SoulDog Wonder Collective community, and I will be sharing my art publicly here at SoulDog Wonder Journal.

If you think you'd like to join me, go ahead and sign up to the waitlist. If you're not ready to decide yet, that's okay. Enrollment will stay open so you can begin whenever it feels right for you.

Thanks for being a part of my wild little world of wonder.

Here's to beginning new things, together!

SoulDog Wonder Journal is a reader-supported space. Your paid subscription helps me make more art and tell more stories inspired by Soul Dogs and the places we love. If you'd like to become a paying subscriber, you can upgrade your membership here.

About the artist

Marika Moffitt is an artist and storyteller focused on expressing the spirit of dogs through photography. As the owner of SoulDog Creative in Washington state, Marika helps clients throughout the Pacific Northwest to honor their journeys with their Soul Dogs with one-of-a-kind artwork. Full of life and movement, Marika’s photographs touch deep within the heart of what it means to live the journey with the dogs we love.

Learn more