Guys next month for the whole month of July I’m going to be doing a 31-Day Photo Adventure that you can ALL participate in and I cannot wait to do it with you! Before I tell you what it’s about, let me first tell you about why I’m doing this.

I live in the beautiful town of San Miguel de Allende, in the state of Guanajuato in Mexico, where I’ve been living off and on for the past 10 years. San Miguel is known for being quite colonial in its architecture, most of the buildings in centro (historical center) follow the same palette of ambers and auburns, and the main parish is a neo-gothic work of art. 

While pre-columbine buildings were not something I was looking for 10 years ago, I recognized that I was blessed to be able to live in such a town, and have always tried to be grateful for the place that was providing a home for myself and my family, since my parents were the reason I had moved here to begin with.

The upside to leaving every so often is that San Miguel continues to stay fresh, I’m rediscovering it in different ways every month. One of these new ways was discovered when I was having a particularly challenging week (…month) and I was leaving work. I was stomping away in tears for one reason or another, when a friend called my name and in relief I stopped, looked up, and took a deep breath in. As I let it out, I opened my eyes, my face still towards the sky, and I saw the buildings of San Miguel from a perspective I had never seen before. My friend got to me, and the moment was gone but the wonder had only just been planted. The seed grew, and the following day while walking in centro I remembered the experience from the night before, and I looked up. There was a small dome like tower that had a gorgeous metal cross on it, and the jacaranda streets were in full bloom. I had never seen it, nor would I have ever seen this corner of San Miguel, had I not looked up.

I continued to walk around town like that, looking up, to see San Miguel with brand new eyes. 

I remember being filled with gratitude and excitement. “This is where I live! It’s so beautiful! So pleasing to my eyes!” The details in the wood work of the doors, or the different metal work on the windows, could fill entire books –in fact I’m pretty sure they already have. 

Suddenly I was filled with gratitude for windows that I had absolutely nothing to do with, but I was filled with such joy and excitement that I allowed myself to take it all in, to bask in that feeling, to be filled with it. 

I found myself having a fantastic day after that. So many of my problems had evaporated because they no longer bothered me, issues that I had made issues disappeared, and had been replaced with exuberance and motivation. The issues that were leftover were easier to handle, and I had a fresh mind from which to handle them. 

I forgot about that moment for weeks, and luckily it came to revisit me when I accidentally looked up at the night sky. This time, I wanted to make sure I remembered it. So I took a picture and put it up on instagram, “Look up”. I wrote under the caption. “and you will see that things are not as bad they seem. Look up, Maelle, Look up.” 

And so with it, an idea was born. I wanted to spend at least 28 days re-establishing and fomenting new positive habits. I began to think of ways that I could do this, I was going to Look Up every day for at least 28 days so as to upgrade whatever Joy & Gratitude O.S. I was running in my heart at that time. I was going to look up because I needed to hold my head up high and be proud of myself every day for what I had accomplished. I was going to look up and breathe. I was going to look up and stretch my body. I was going to look up and be grateful and look at life differently every day. 

Then suddenly, my new, sweet and talented facebook friend Renea unintentionally gave me the most exciting idea! I mentioned new friend because I only “met” her about a week or so ago when another unbelievably talented mutual friend Mittie said that we would probably get along, and boy did we! Here’s a little about Renea:

I am an artist, photographer, writer, and poet and this blog is a blank canvas for me every day. I come to the page with whatever I’ve woken up with and I paint it in the best way I possibly can, whether that be through a poem, prose, an illustration, a photograph, or sharing music that moves me. I think that there is power in sharing our experiences. When we pull back the curtain and let others peer inside, we find that all of us have so much more in common than we may have thought. that feels good. that’s empowering. it’s empowering for me and it’s empowering for others.  I have struggled my whole life with self-esteem, confidence, body acceptance, insecurities, and at times, a crippling depression. most of what I share has helped me in one of those areas in some way and seeing others find encouragement in the same things, well, that makes me feel less alone in my struggles.

If you’ve read my bio, some of that may sound awfully familiar. I love serendipitously meeting birds of a feather!!

The picture below popped up on my newsfeed once again and I thought to myself, “I bet she would appreciate the 28-day LookUp challenge I want to have for myself…” and just like that, the idea suddenly came rushing into my head so quickly I immediately ran to get paper and pen and jot down what it was I wanted to do. And that’s how I came up with #LUPA

The 31-Day Look Up Photo Adventure! (#LUPA)

What is the Look Up Photo Adventure #LUPA?

It is a 31-day photo adventure with the clear intention of practicing shifting your perspective as a way to foment better feeling habits like gratitude, excitement, and joy. Every day there will be a thought-prompt that will act as inspiration for your photo.  My favorite photos every week will get a shout out on the blogs as well as as mention and a show in the Love Letters (which if you haven’t yet, you should sign up now

Who can participate in it?

Anyone that has an internet connection.

What are the different ways I can participate? 

Here’s the different ways you can participate: 

  • The most basic and easiest way to participate is Instagram, and just hashtag your photo #LUPA. I will find it and save it. 
  • The photo can be one you took, or one you found. Please credit respectively. 
  • You can post your photo on Facebook and tag me in it. (hashtag it LUPA)
  • You can email it to me: maelleindigo@gmail.com
  • You can Tweet it at me. 
  • You can post it on your blog, and Facebook, e-mail, or tweet at me to give me the link. 

The prompts

The prompts will be given each morning via Facebook and Twitter. If you miss one, they will all be written below as the days progress.


Good luck and good adventuring!!!


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