Taking Great Muchness Pictures

Not all of us are the next Annie Leibovitz, but that’s no reason we can’t have compelling, beautiful, Muchtastic Muchness pics! This space will have tips and suggestions for how to set up your shot so you can get a great picture you will be proud to share, even if you are shooting from your old flip phone!

There are some great photo-taking tips here!


The 30 Day Challenge- Where to find a theme

I know MANY of you have been following The Muchness since I first started wearing my daily sequins back in March 2011. Within 2 days of starting my challenge, I knew I was tapping into something much more powerful than sequins. I was tapping into a joy, a passion and a form of self-expression that I had been neglecting for far too long. The sequins were just a tool that helped me to do that. Don’t get me wrong- I LOVE the sequins- I’ve always loved anything sparkly, but I just didn’t have the confidence to even THINK about wearing them out in broad daylight! FORCING myself out of my comfort zone, little by little, over the course of 30 days, helped me realize I was letting fear and insecurity hold me back from feeling the MUCHNESS inside that I used to feel.

Are you thinking of taking the 30 Day Challenge? Are you worried you don’t know what your Muchness ‘is’? Ask yourself these questions, and reach deep into your truths to find the answers:

  • If you could spend your day doing anything, without worrying about money, what would it be? Would you paint, write, cook, design Muchtastic hair accessories? Those are your passions! Maybe you used to think about these things but somewhere along the line, you’ve forgot you even liked them! They are laying dormant in you, waiting for you to pay attention to them.
  • What is a characteristic you have always admired in others but didn’t feel you were capable of possessing? Speaking multiple languages, doing charitable deeds, knowing how to walk in a killer pair of heels? Who says you CAN’T do those things? Unless your goal, like mine, is wearing those killer heels and your chiropractor forbids it, take the plunge! Go do it!! Even if it’s just in tiny little amounts over the next 30 days, even if you really aren’t very good at it, so what? You will gain confidence from confirming that the power to at least try IS in your hands!!
  • What are you good at? Are you thinking that this sentence is about to contradict the one I just completed? Well, don’t. We all love to do things we’re good at. I barely do anything I’m not at least semi-good at. (you will not find me on any ski slopes in the near future, haha)  But ya know what? So many of us don’t realize how good we are at doing some of the stuff we already do. Maybe you’re a stay-at-home mom and you just go about your days “momming.” Stop. Think about it. Maybe your are REALLY VERY EXCELLENT at that and you just think of it as ‘something you do.’ Maybe you aren’t a great cook but make FANTASTIC soups- take ownership of that and BE the AWESOME soup maker!!! Sometimes you don’t have to paint our talents with such a big brush. Sometimes, the parts we’re great at are hiding in the smaller, more nuanced strokes. Look for them. Find them. Celebrate them. (Oh, and blog about them here!)
    Conversely, sometimes we believe we are good at something, yet our journey through life presents us with circumstances or people that make us doubt what we believe we know about ourselves. If you think back, can you remember a time you felt self-confident about something, but then had that confidence ripped away from you by someone or something else? Stop. Now’s the time to reclaim it. The only day better than today for taking back your confidence, was yesterday. 🙂

Well, that’s it for now. I say that because I could go on. And on. I have so much I want to post here. In time, I will.

One important thing I will leave with you today:
There are two types of MUCHNESS Moments.
-The first are the organic moments that just happen – your baby covered herself in mashed potatoes, a beautiful sunset behind an abandoned old warehouse, the view of your family on a walk, all holding hand; things which simply made you stop and smile and give thanks for the things you have in this world.
-The second type are MUCHNESS moments that are ‘manufactured.’ Sequins and high heels on a random tuesday, baking a cake and decorating it with edible glitter, just so you can photograph it, an otherwise pointless picture of yourself making a silly face.
My original 30 Day Challenge had both types of pictures. Your “theme” is great for helping you create the “manufactured” moments. Those are specific, purposeful, consciously planned moments built around something that brings you joy. However, those moments will open up your eyes and your spirit to be more receptive to the organic moments. The ones that are already there, just waiting to be found.

Looking forward to seeing you GET IN TOUCH WITH THE MUCH!

The 30 Day Challenge- Reinforce the happy!!

Over the last 8 months, since I started The Muchness Movement, I’ve had a lot of conversations about The Muchness. A lot. Many in person and a lot online, through email, and even via text message. One thing I get asked a lot is “What should I do for a ‘theme’ of my challenge?”

Now, I can’t just tell you what to do. Muchness is different for everyone and, well, I don’t know you. But I think, in some ways, I’ve helped some of the previous challengers know themselves. I’ve been going through my mind (and email) to collect some of the inspiration I’ve helped people pull out of themselves. I’ll be presenting it in this group, in this series “Finding Your Muchness Theme”. I hope you’ll find something inspirational and uplifting in these posts, and I hope it inspires you to jump in and take the challenge.

In my last entry of this series, I offered ideas for questions you can ask yourself to help you find some internal ‘theme’ – some personal spark of creativity or joy or positivity (or Muchness) that lives inside you but has really been feeling neglected. For me, it wasn’t sparkle, per sé, but it was my personal appearance. I was not using my appearance to reflect my creativity and personality. When I neglected to do that, it affected everything about me.

There were many times before when I had thought to myself “gosh, I really should put some effort into my appearance. I mean, my jeans have holes in them, my sneakers are filthy and my hair isn’t brushed…. and I’m on my way to work! What is wrong with me?” And then I’d tell myself “You’re busy. Who has time? Who even notices? And you’re really good at your job so no-one cares. Besides, do you really wanna be spending money on new clothes that are not your ideal size anyway? Especially when you hate shopping?” (I do, it’s true. Imagine that.)

But then, as we know, life continued the way it did. I got pregnant with the twins, and then six months later we lost them. And then three months later I was pregnant again. And there was no way I was going to re-wear my maternity stuff from the twins. So I shopped. And I took with me on my shopping trips the conscious idea that I would NOT buy more frumpy dump clothing. I would NOT buy more brown which made me feel like a turd. I would NOT buy potato sacks which made me feel like I was drowning in my big sisters clothing. I may have been miserable about the twins, but I did not have to reenforce that feeling with my clothing. Because I was also joyous about my new pregnancy, and THAT was the feeling I wanted to reinforce.

D’ya ever notice that for some unfortunate reason, it always seems the Joy is a feeling we have to work to actively maintain, whereas sorrow or anger or sadness are feelings that just happen and seem to maintain themselves? As soon as we’re not feeling happy, we feel despondent or sad, or bored or lonely, but as soon as we’re not sad, we’re not automatically happy, by default. There are no books “How to find your sadness” or “The secret to being sad.” … sad is just something we all just know how to be. But finding happiness? Well, that’s one of life’s big mysteries, and the topic behind many a book.

I always start these posts with an idea in my head. A concept which started my brain rolling on what the post would be. Sometimes I get off point. This post was supposed to be a straightforward list of ideas for themes for The Muchness Challenge. Because I KNOW that it’s tough. I KNOW when you are in deep grief or sadness or just plain stumbling through a rough patch, sitting down and thinking about a “theme” for that unspeakable ‘thing’ which is your Muchness is just really hard. And sometimes it just needs a kickstart.

But I don’t want to be all scatterbrained throwing too much Muchness talk at you in one Finding Your Muchness Entry. So I will sign off for now and save the list for another entry. Stay Tuned!

xox, Tova

The 30 Day Challenge- the Mid Point Lull

You made it midway! Congratulations! I hope you are feeeeeling The Muchness!!!

But wait, have you started to hit the midpoint Muchness lull? If you’re thinking “What’s she talkin’ about?” then great! If you’re thinking “Yeah- I guess that’s a good name for it…” then read on. (Read on anyway. Ya know… For kicks.  :-))
Kinda strange that looking for Muchness, though inspiring and happy-making, can actually get tiring. Or annoying, or dull…. Right? Only feeling crappy is supposed to make us feel like that. But that’s why The Muchness Challenge is just that- A Challenge!!! What you are doing is actually changing a habit. Good or bad, habit changing can be tough. And annoying. And tedious. But when you stick with it, the payoff is worth it!
Clearly, reading through the topics in this group is a great place to start – but it’s important to know that there is nothing wrong with struggling to find the Muchness every day! That’s why you’re taking the challenge!!! And there is nothing wrong with INVENTING the Muchness. Really. Fake it. Stage a Muchness Moment for the camera. It doesn’t matter that it’s not real. You’re only job is to make it look real.
Go on. Do it. See what happens. 😉
(OK.. I’ll tell you. What happens is, it becomes real. Your manufactured Muchness moment brings a smile to your face. Maybe not as 100% true as if it had just happened organically, or maybe even MORE than if it happened organically, because YOU took the reigns and made it happen!! YOU took control of your day, rather than letting it take control of you- and THAT is TOTAL MUCHNESS!)

The 30 Day Challenge – WHY A THEME?

As I mentioned in my last post, sometimes we just need to kickstart ourselves as the entryway into Finding our Muchness. And that’s pretty much what the 30 Day Challenge is. It’s a way to force yourself out of your rut, if even in the smallest little way, just to let the light shine into your world even a tiny little bit. I KNOW that it’s tough. I KNOW when you are in deep grief or sadness or just plain stumbling through a rough patch, sitting down and thinking about how to tap into that unspeakable ‘thing’ which is your Muchness is just really hard. And sometimes it just needs a kickstart.

“If the Challenge is the start, where do I start the Challenge?”

With a theme. I’ve talked about a theme a lot in this series. First let me say, a Theme is NOT required. And if you do pick a theme, you DON’T have to follow it religiously. It is simply your ‘fall-back’ or your ‘go-to’… it is where your challenge will start, – with something tangible and identifiable. But it is not where your challenge will hopefully end. Hopefully it will end with something meaningful and emotional.

We find our Muchness when we push ourselves out of our comfort zone. When we explore the boundaries we create for ourselves which hold us back from our full potential. But in the big, vast universe of “everything”, finding the initiative and confidence to push and explore our potential is simply overwhelming. Especially when you’re in a dark place. That’s where your theme comes in.

When you pick a theme you are channelling your positive energies into one attainable, enjoyable goal.

My theme was sequined clothing and shoes. You really can’t get more superficial than that. But what happened was an internal shift. One where I made a  minimal commitment to such a narrow area that I quickly met my comfort zone boundaries and then confidently surpassed them. And once I achieved confidence in that one area, it affected other areas of my confidence! I found I was speaking up for myself more. I was sharing my opinions. I was speaking up for others! I was friendlier to strangers. I was doing more creative projects and enjoying my family more. I was laughing more and not worrying about what other people were thinking (negatively) of me. Because I was too busy feeling good about myself to be thinking negatively of them!

And the irony is- before The Muchness, I was making myself invisible, and no-one was thinking negatively about me because no-one was even seeing me. Now, I walk around like a disco queen in the middle of the afternoon. And I’m SURE people are talking about me – some of them negatively – but I don’t care. The ones that give me a dirty look, I give them back a genuine smile. They just need a little Muchness in their lives.

….and once again, this post has lost it’s way from my original intent.

Original Intent= List of theme ideas.
Final Analysis= Keep it simple. Don’t over-think the theme, as it is really just a conduit to the bigger, more rewarding result.

Having said that, please bear in mind the following:
Sequins are awesome and make an awesome theme. Because they are like little lights and what else is better to help you through the dark?!?!

xox, Tova