Finding traits I might want to be empowered with

A few weeks ago I started The Artist’s Way.  Fast recap of book “12 week course in discovering and recovering your creative self.”  I am plugging away on my morning pages (I find I am better on work days) and doing the exercises.

One exercise recently was to make a list of people you admire and people who are dead you would like to hang out with.  What traits do they have?  So I started my list of individuals I actually know (dead and alive) and others out there in the world.

The main trait in common for all the individuals were they are risk takers.  They were not settling for the status quo.  The majority of people I admired were not living traditional (9-5 lives).  They were/are following dreams (actress I know), starting businesses, creating and putting themselves out there.  They do not let society dictate what they should or should not be doing.  I noticed that over 1/2 of the names I wrote down were creatives.

The next exercise was what could I do to bring more of that trait into my life? Take a course? Plan a trip? Submit a story? It doesn’t have to be anything major. Go to the theatre. Art Gallery.  Just push your boundaries even a bit. Take a risk and see or do something new.

My plan is to write and submit a short story to a competition before the end of the year. Submit it knowing it isn’t perfect (and never will be) but it is finished. Submitting it will free me to start something new. Plus it puts a piece of me out into the world.  That is risk taking to me.

So write out a list of people you admire or would like to hang out with. You might find a few traits they have in common.  Is it a trait you are empowered with? What steps could you take to get a piece of it? Go for it.

You can always start now !

 

A Different Kind of Monthly Challenge – Loving Kindness Meditation

Fast recap if you are stopping by for the first time.  In January I decided to do a monthly challenge.  From podcasts, crafts, journaling and more (to come!!).  I find I get more done when I am busier, have a deadline and focused. Hence this challenge helps.  For previous challenges I have links at the end.

This month I gave myself a bit of a break and did a Sharpie craft.

I bought a bowl at the Dollar Store. Followed the instructions of washing, drying and letting the Sharpie work dry for 72 hours. After that it is all over the place time wise and temperature wise in the oven. I ended up at 350 degree for two hours.

I am so not an artist so did something easy.  The full quote around the bowl is “Today is the perfect day to be happy!”  Sharpies are easy and fun. Hard part is figuring out whose instructions to follow.

WOW I am starting my fourth month of challenges. For April I decided to do something I am currently struggling with and hope it will get me into a better routine.  So for April’s challenge I am doing Loving Kindness Meditation.  It keeps me more focused when meditating as I am repeating phrases not just concentrating on my breath.  The phrases you repeat are:

  • May I be safe
  • May I be happy
  • May I be healthy
  • May I live with ease.

Next is someone you care about – maybe someone going through a rough time.

  • May (insert name) be safe
  • May (name) be happy
  • May (name) be healthy
  • May (name) live with ease.

The third and last person is someone you might be having a hard time with currently or in the past. Insert their name and repeat the phrases. Basically it is you and two other people you want to send loving kindness out to.  Repeat each of the three names/phrases as long as you want. Ideally you want to sit with this for at least 10-20 minutes if possible. Maybe work up to it.

I would love to see your Sharpie craft or any of the other challenges you have been working on. So to a loving kindness month.

March Challenge – Gratitude Journal

February Challenge – Podcasts

January Challenge – The Start

You can always start now !

What caught my eye – favorites from the past month

Spring is officially here on the calendar but where I am sitting there is still snow on the ground.  Below are a few posts that caught my eye in the past month.  So to celebrate spring and getting our gardens in gear let’s head over to The art of doing stuff for some truly unique planters!

BEAUTIFUL (and simple) Hello Spring Wreath tutorial - this is the perfect craft to make and display on your front door or in your home.

This DIY spring wreath from Lilluna was just too pretty not to share.

Sunset-In-Halifax-England_01

You have to check out and maybe put on your bucket list these 15 colorful place to visit. Head over at Skybambia.

Cute And Fun Kids’ Fort

DIY Crafts has 20 ideas on using old (or new) curtains  I imagine the tent above could entertain a few people on a wet Saturday afternoon!

I was scrolling through Bloglovin and found this attic apartment with a brick wall. I have to say there is something about brick that appeals to me.  I love the look of it inside and out.  This attic apartment was all eye candy for me.

Hope you enjoyed what caught my eye in the past month. Would love to hear what you think and any links to your current or old favorites.

You can always start now!

 

 

 

Writing camp and you don’t have to leave home !

Camp NaNoWriMo

I can’t believe how fast the first three months of the year have gone.  End of March and still snow on the ground, but that is not what this post is about. It is camp time!  If you have read the blog before you know I work better with deadlines and commitments.  So for April I signed up for Camp Nanowrimo . It is part of National Novel Writing Month which takes place in November where you write a novel (50,000) in a month.  Camp Nanowrimo is similar but a bit different in that you can choose your word count.  It is also neat in that if you want they will assign you to a cabin with writers from all over the world.  The cabin has the writer’s bio and an area for cabin mates to discuss what they are doing and encourage each other.  It is free and you can get on-line support. You can also check out forums and get in on discussions.  If you, like me, need that extra push to get writing this is a neat way to do it.

Here is their direct quote “Camp NaNoWriMo is a virtual writer’s retreat, designed for maximum flexibility and creativity. We have Camp sessions in both April and July, and we welcome word-count goals between 30 and 1,000,000. In addition, writers can tackle any project they’d like, including new novel drafts, revision, poetry, scripts, and short stories.”

Check it out and hoping we connect at camp!

You can always start now!

A different type of to do list !

There are so many things I want to learn to do, some more realistic than others Pepper and Twine: I was scrolling through Pinterest and came across the above pin from Pepper and Twine Instagram account.  I thought what I neat idea. Their Instagram has other pages worth checking out.  I thought this is a different to do list.  So, get yourself pretty colored pens, stickers and put a question or thought on the page and your answers around it.  Don’t censor yourself. Just write. Nothing is too crazy as these are our pages and sharing is optional.  Maybe by not writing line by line it will shake our thought process up. Who knows?

Some ideas we could start with are:

  • what makes me feel safe
  • I want to learn to…..
  • books I want to read
  • places I want to travel
  • goals I want to accomplish

Below is my first page. I enjoyed sitting and thinking about goals, picking out different colors to write with. It was a relaxing experience and made me slow down for a bit. I wrote a variety of things on my page and know I will be adding to it. So everything is open!

Enjoy and let me know what you think.

You can always start now !

 

I’m listening. I so want to understand.

I am reading the book Presence by Amy Cuddy.  She talks about relinquishing power to listen. To stop talking, preaching and listen to understand. By listening and giving up power we are really gaining so much more. I wanted to share what we can gain when we let go of knowing, asserting and listening more.

  • people trust you.  Trust is a building block. So much more learning and sharing will take place when trust is involved.
  • you acquire useful information.  Just shut up and listen. Don’t be thinking about what you want to say, as right there you are not listening. Hence you are not taking in what that person is offering.
  • you begin to see other people as individuals and maybe allies.  You are knocking down those walls of “us versus them”.
  • you develop solutions that other people are willing to accept and adopt.  There is more by in when people feel they have had input and have been listened to.
  • when people feel heard, they are more willing to listen.  Listening and respecting people will get your message across when needed.

So take a step back.  Listen to what other people have to say. Ask questions. Relinquish knowing it all or even half of it. Be open to a totally different take. Let someone shine. Be that person people want at the table. You know the one – the one that makes sure everyone is heard respectfully. I think we need more of these people now more than ever.

You can always start now !

 

Starting another journey – The Artist’s Way

I started The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron last week.  The book is more of an exploration and discovery than a read. It is broken down into 12 weeks with exercises that push boundaries and have you rethinking experiences.  I thought I’d share (and hope you hold me accountable) some of the exercises in the book.  There is week one.

Exploring our past. Everyone is creative in their own way. Week one is digging deep into our past and finding those people and moments that made us question and often withdraw from our creativity. Like you can’t even draw a stick figure, your stories are boring or even less blunt – you have to get a career where you can support yourself.  Writing, painting, pottery are great hobbies, but they are hobbies not a job. I am sure we have all heard that. So we put our creative ideas aside and get that job.

Week one has exercises of acknowledging those past hurts. Who said what – bringing them out in the open. Also list your champions. Those people who encouraged you. Another exercise was imagine you could live another life. What would it be? Is there a slice of it you could do now? Maybe take up a musical instrument? Sign up for a painting class?  Do it.

Also Julie Cameron is a big proponent of morning pages.  Just writing free-hand first thing in the morning whatever occurs to you. Just get it out.

I have done The Artist’s Way before and always get something out of it. At times my morning pages have been brutal as I pour out past and current hurts. Also it is hard to write down memories of not feeling good enough and exploring them. The positive is one of my previous imaginary lives is no longer imaginary. I am say/write I am a blogger and writer. Period.

So to the next 12 weeks for me.  I’ll keep you posted.  Remember we are all creative and have something unique to offer. DO NOT let anyone tell you differently.  Our job is to create and enjoy the process. Society will judge us and we can decided what we think of society.

You can always start now !

 

Happy International Women’s Day

Happy International Women’s Day !

I want to say since starting my blog I feel more apart of a community of women (majority not all – you men are great also) then I have ever before. There is so much sharing, support and encouragement in blogging.  Connecting on Facebook groups to share each other’s posts and lead us to each other’s sites.  All questions are answered in a respectful manner and encouragement and congratulations are always flowing.

I think we as bloggers (both sexes) have it covered in diversity, support and inclusion. Now if we could just package what we have to offer to the rest of world and I think we have just by doing what we do. So bloggers/creatives Happy International Women’s Day and thank you for showing what individuals can do in a non-competitive supportive community!   We rock.

You can always start now !

 

 

What caught my eye – favorites from the past month !

I cannot believe we have rolled into another month.  We had a week of brutal winter weather in February. Two snow storms accumulation in places of 100 cm.  The following week we had above freezing temperatures so thankfully a lot of snow melted.

The following is what caught my eye in the past month.  Hope you enjoy and maybe get inspired.

Solutions for a Small Entry or a Non-Existent Entry

Over at The Inspired Room she has a post on solutions for nonexistent entryways. Which appeals to me having one!  The examples of smaller furniture pieces, hooks and shelves has me thinking.

Gold Moon Wall abeautifulmess.com

A Beautifulmess has to be one of my favorite blogs to pop into as always a variety of posts. Check out their DIY gold moon wall.

Wonderlass 8 tips for developing a successful dream chasing mindset.  I liked this as it could be applied to any dream you have.  Good advice and doable.

I am a bit obsessed lately with ladders.  So this post I had to pin not only to my favorites board but also my project board.  Check out Cozy Little House for more ideas.

anglular

OMG – these are incredible and some of them so easy. Check out Burlap and Blue for 50 DIY art tutorials. I had a hard time choosing one to post. I wanted one that was easy and the one above involves masking tape and paint.

There are so many creatives ideas and resources out there. I would love to hear what caught your eye in the past month.

You can always start now !

 

 

A Different Kind of Monthly Challenge

If you are just tuning in for the first time here is a fast summary.  The first Wednesday in January I decided to do a monthly challenge for the year.  My plan is to try different things from podcasts, crafts to just about anything!  Check out January and February challenges at the end of the post.

February was all about gratitude and acknowledging it in my gratitude journal.  My goal was 3-4 times a week to write down specific things I was grateful for that day or the day before.  I have to admit I wasn’t as successful as I wanted to be.  It is not that I don’t have things to be grateful for – I do.  The problem was remembering to write them down at the end of the day.  I’m thinking to create a habit maybe I have to do them every day, but then I’m not sure I wouldn’t get what they call gratitude fatigue.

When I did journal what I was grateful for it was easy to come up with 3-4 items.  A few where that I have a friend that checks up on me, that I enjoy my alone time, I saw Hidden Figures at the theatre, I had a beautiful walk to work after a snow storm and a friend sent me a package of art supplies in the mail.  I do believe writing down what we are grateful for can put things in perspective – no matter how bad our day was we can come up with a few things we are grateful for.  Like I enjoyed my coffee or the bus wasn’t late. Plus it takes us out of our negativity even for a few minutes.  I am going to continue to write in my gratitude journal on a weekly basis as I want to look back and see I had a good year.

This month I thought I’d give myself a bit of a break and do a craft.  I have always like those Sharpie crafts – you know write and/or draw on an item and bake it.  So that is my challenge and I’ll show you the finished project the first Wednesday in April.

Write an inspirational saying or draw a picture on a plate, mug, bowl or whatever. There are lots of instructions on Pinterest on baking time but the two things they are consistent on is after you use the Sharpie on your item wait 72 hours before putting it in the oven. The other thing is put the item in the oven and then turn the oven on so that the item and oven heat up together.  After that it is all over the place.

Destination Decoration tries various temperatures and time on her mugs.  Her winner is oven at 250 for two hours.  Something Turquoise has oven at 425 for one hour.  Once baked turn off oven and let item and oven cool off down together.

I would love to see what you create over the next month.  Happy Sharpie!!

February Challenge – gratitude journal

January Challenge – podcasts

You can always start now !

 

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