Plus! My Top 5 (so far) Favourite Podcasts and why they have helped me and can help you!
It seems inevitable that in life it’s not always going to be this fun, smooth, happy-go-lucky ride. There of course will be days where everything is going our way; the sun is out and shining; we’re well rested from a productive yet tiring day; our favourite outfit is clean and therefore ready to wear; and things are going well at work. On these days, it’s so much easier to take on the world and tackle challenges both big and small. Yet there are other days when we are feeling overwhelmed, things aren’t going our way and there is much more to take on.
Which means even the slightest little struggle or extra consideration can seem like too much. Be it criticism or an adjustment to routine which may prove possible to handle previously suddenly seems like too much at times. For me it is often this trifecta of circumstances both external and internal struggles that contribute to the feeling of being overwhelmed. Often habit is to look deeper into what has caused my distress, and may take some time to uncover the deeper issue but it’s also best to take a break from all that thinking sometimes and just relax. What I’ve found destressing or relaxing is simply putting on a good podcast to tune out those obsessive thoughts, get out of our own heads and gain a new perspective on ourselves. While reading can be effective too I’ve found some insights are better understood heard. I’ve gained so much just from listening in on the advice the Podcast hosts have given to others regarding similar questions I’ve asked myself or experiences I’ve had to make my way through wondering “if I was the only one”. Well friends, through some of the most relatable and wonderful podcasts that the answer has been found and it’s a resounding “No. Indeed we are not the only ones out there struggling”. These podcasts and their episodes are proof of just that.
So without further ado…
Here’s a list of my top 5 favourites (so far):
- Dear Sugar Radio (ft. Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond)
- Millennial Podcast (ft. Megan Tan and others)
- The Lavendaire Lifestyle (ft. Aileen Xu)
- Magic Lessons with Elizabeth Gilbert (ft. Elizabeth Gilbert and others)
- The Lively Show (ft. Jess Lively)
To check them out, search on your phones podcast function or I believe you can also find them online or under the iTunes store. Many of these I’ve found on Pinterest list pins under the Pins/Lists titled like “Best Podcasts for…” fill in the blank. So definitely check there if you are looking for more inspiration. Here’s also the links to their podcasts online:
Thoughts on travels, making the most of days off and planning adventures
For the longest time all I ever wanted to do was to escape any present or impending work week drabs by going off to some far away places and destinations, where my worries and stresses about life and any other concerns could be long forgotten. The travel bug had bitten again and I was falling for it. This was what the word “adventure” meant in my mind and therefore the only way to have an adventure or feel that sense of care-freeness a part of going away was to travel far.
Until I found someone (special) equally as curious, open and willing to explore as I am that taught me “adventures” can take many forms and that sometimes it doesn’t matter where you are or even what we are doing as much as it’s who you are with that helps make any day an adventure. Simply experiencing those things together and making our own adventures close to home has led to incredible days and inspiration for future adventures and projects. So for now I am happy helping to create and explore places closer to home with inspirations to go a bit further in broadening our horizons. All in all it really doesn’t matter because those days were made into adventures by us just spending time together and seeing where the day could day take us.
The final insight and a summing up: To remember wherever you chose it to be- as far or close as you like- it’s who you are with that matters most, from there adventure will follow and you’re bound to have a good time.
*Thank-you for showing me that we don’t need to travel far to find adventures, and that what makes adventures great is us.*
A look inside creativity as a helpful outlet
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about creativity and how it’s helped make the everyday routines, structures and schedules of life more interesting, especially as I’ve been taking a gentle hiatus from writing and focused on other creative endeavours. Whether it’s been more baking, or in learning to knit or most recently in pastel work I’ve come into great insights on how pursuing these interests has helped add something to look forward to in day-to-day life and how each endeavour is it’s own creative adventure.
There are two main thoughts that each experience seemed to have in common for it to be helpful and worth continually pursuing. The first is it simply has to inspire me, and somehow aid in my curiosity to learn and explore as a outlet but with that said it also has to work for my own individual purposes and makes sense to me. Which varies depending on how I chosen to approach it. These are the initial thoughts I had going into each new month and being open to what it’s brought. Upon closer look I’ve discovered that diving in these creative projects there’s a third bonus and that is taking up any of these; whether it be knitting, planning next baking days or finding my confidence in using pastels; has not only given me new ways to be creative but acted as incentive to get through the week. I can go into work knowing that my reward for getting through is awaiting me at home. Almost like my own version of saving and planning for future trips, only instead of trips it’s projects to look forward to and plan.
This creative adventure has led me to some wonderful pastimes and ways to cope when things get long, tough or tiring without going far from home. I’ve gotten a new lease on my life and found excitement in what I do everyday to help make it more exciting when at the moment I’ve felt unprepared to travel far again. Keep in mind, that it doesn’t have to be creative adventures for you that’s just what worked for me. It could be anything you are involved in whether once a week, or twice, everyday or every few weeks that helps make where you or I are at more interesting, manageable or fun while we wish and dream for grander adventures far away.
That’s it for now,
The Curious Creative and Introverted Butterfly (P.S. It’s good to be back!)
Insights from a Creative soul, her journey so far and tips for starting a new endeavour!
In reflecting on my year and it’s exciting start- the Creative Challenge (2017) I’ve learned
a lot about what it means to be creative, how to become inspired and essentially make the best out of our lives. To name just a few thoughts on how overwhelmingly successful the process has been but none ring quite as true as the thought “Do what inspires you”. After all this idea has been the catalyst for this whole journey and beyond as the endeavours a part of it all have come from that search for inspiration and taking on interests that I’ve always wanted to try but have let my own fears- of failing- and perfectionist instincts take over.
When I’ve gotten out of my own way, and let my heart vs. my head led the possibilities became endless. Case in point: Half of leading up to trying baking I was making assumptions that working in the kitchen would be too scary or I’d burn it down or even trying would lead to disaster. Before even beginning at that point in my mind it would not work out… until I did it. Which lead down a series of discoveries and realizations all starting with “I can and I will”. When we follow our hearts, and choose endeavours that inspire us nothing can become a disaster. I’ve learned this through the Creative Challenge, these experiences are what we make of them, not what they make of us.
Here’s something else to keep in mind…
You will know by the feeling in your heart and if you put all your heart into it there’s no for it to not be a success. For me this translates to butterflies in the stomach, a sudden burst of energy or confidence, curiosity and most times when I can’t stop thinking about the experience then I know I’m on the right track. It’s that meant to be feeling that makes trying all worth one’s while.
The best way to approach such experiences is not through planning, plotting and prodding every last detail (although some planning may be involved) but to plan some and let the rest work itself out. Be patient with the process and TRUST that in time everything else will come to be. By doing so you end up stressing less, being more open to other possibilities and enjoying the journey many surprises. It’s made creating more of a adventure than and an openness to try many other experiences.
Stayed inspired and curious,
And What It Means…
To me, It has always meant that there are certain things I wanted to accomplish in my lifetime, experiences to have and goals to set that at times may be out of my reach or are very, very important to me. These are the things, that drive me (and probably you) forward into new endeavours, help me grow and are good ways to spread my wings and limits.
The experience seems that during those times, it’s a relentless search to attain goals just out of reach and often for me leads to some sort of unfulfilled feelings and desires. Deep down, I always seem to believe there will be something better out there, or more to do… but that’s as far as ambition often carries me. So, yeah it can be challenging but I also believe that it is key in moving forward and seeking out new opportunities. It’s job seems to be each time a welcome catalyst for change, a way to possibly embrace it and continue the daydreams, of bigger futures if only in my head. Continue reading
Have you ever stopped to think that certain coincidences happen around a particularly meaningful or at interesting times of our lives? When everything that’s happening seems to be spinning around you in a mess of moments? Or perhaps- as it commonly is- you find yourself inside your head and this occurance acts as a way to bring you back into the present? Or give some sort of wonderful reassurance?
I find myself becoming even more tuned into these little signs (you could say) as time goes on. Barely noticable at first, yet if I look just a little closer they appearing at interesting moments, events or intersections in life. It’s a tricky balancing act we must be aware- and although I say “look closer” it might not always mean “look harder”. For, searching too hard may lead us in the wrong direction or may seem too desperate/particular for these messages, but going out there and just having an awareness that there’s much more happening around us in this world is a good place to start. An interesting discovery leads me to marvel again and again at the natural world along with wanting to explore even more of it when I get the chance.
There is so much out there, living and interacting among us that’s more than just us. Animals looking for lunch, places to rest along their journeys, preparing for the coming seasons. Plants changing stages, or wilting or sprouting up just in time for their own season in their time, as a reminder to have patience, and that it’s okay to do things in my own time. Another favourite reminder of patience, process and transformation of mine is the butterfly. This beautifully winged creature is a wonderful reminder to
enjoy the moments as they are fleeting, drink in the sweetness of life and most importantly of embrace our very own transformation- both mine and others-. As nothing or no one really ever stays the same. Change is inevitable, especially in nature amongst the butterflies who have their own timely process of change- which takes a great many days to occur. This is why the butterfly is a special symbol to me. As wherever, these flying winged creatures are I am reminded to be patient, that sometimes it takes a great while for the bigger picture to unfold a part of our plans; and even though it may not be precisely when we want things to happen, it always is when they are meant to be. With that said, there is no greater honour than to encounter a Monarch. A rare species itself I know when I come across it that is the best sign for me to receive. As it lets me know: “My dear Kylie. You are doing the right thing, at the right time. Your patience is rewarded and this is where you are meant to be.” For that I thank the Monarch and let it be and carry on, as I know even the Monarch has further to go still and a hard journey ahead of it, as do I.
Be on the lookout then, because you never know when inspiration and insight will strike you out and about!
Much inspiration and learning,
Photo an original Introverted Butterfly, photograph- August 28th/2016© (Monarch on Milkweed plant).
Have you ever looked back on a particular experience and thought in a moment of amazement “Wow. I can’t believe how fast time has flown!”?, wondering where all those days have gone?
I often have. It seems sometimes you blink once and the experience has just started out, then you blink again and it’s either half-way through or further along then you could have imagined. This can be true to just about any experience, but where I got this inspiration from is in friendship. It’s one of those experiences that while you are pursuing, nurturing and growing it each day becomes your focus- or at least it does for me-, until you suddenly look back and realize exactly how much time has flown by while you’ve been creating moments and memories with that person. At least this seems to happen in the very special, real and true connections that come along once or if your lucky maybe twice in a lifetime that are meant to last. In which, each day together you are simply trying to make the most of or allow your connection to grow just a little bit more. Without even noticing how much time has gone by from one year to the next.
It can be a bit surprising when this occurs, almost as if realizing “Wow. I didn’t even see it that way.” but also reassuring I find. That if we can make it this far, then surely what we have can last for more years to come. This is to say that it doesn’t take work- we all know it does-, and that there aren’t doubts sometimes along the way- especially in the beginning- but what can help put our faith into the experience or into the connection is looking back and knowing we’ve made it that far through those ups and downs so hopefully if they come up we’ll make it through them again.
When it comes down to it, is all you can do is put faith into each other, trust in what you have and in the process of growing that special connection putting the rest in the hands of the Universe. Which may seem lofty at times, but as long as it helps you get through then that is what counts.
“Life is about the journey, not the destination.” So you might as well enjoy it with some good company!
Cherish the moments, treasure the connections and enjoy the journey!
Let It Out- A Journey into Journalling; By Katie Dalebout
I don’t normally try to write book reviews but it is not often that I come across a great inspirational book that both really relates to my experiences the way this has,and has helped me as much in getting through all the chatter in my head and believe me there was a lot. This book though has done just that. So why keep it’s inspiration to myself when I can pass along the good vibes!
“Let It Out” is written by Katie Dalebout. A writer- who like me- started out blogging about wellness as a way to express herself and document her attempts in healing and changing her life for the better. Having tried many methods and countless struggles, frustration and disappointment in other treatments she then discovered that to heal the outside you need to begin by healing the inside which starts with your thoughts.
Which is where journalling came in and “a journey into journalling.” Upon reading that I was pleasantly pleased and excited. “You mean there’s someone else out there, who believes in the magic of journalling as much as I ?!?” I thought to myself. It must have been a sign to give this book a chance!
Filled with so many amazing insights, tools and relatable experiences that with each new one I’m agreeing along with her or having an “aha” moment myself. This one is a book not to miss. It also didn’t take me long to begin marking pages down and trying to remember important passages before they left my mind in order to get out of my funk and back into the habit of journalling.
Don’t worry though, if you aren’t the avid journal yet. It’s a great resource for first time journalers too or any one really willing to write themselves out of a funk (I believe that’s even one of her tools- Write Your Way Out of a Funk). There are lots of tools for both avid and beginner journalers. Here are just some of my favourites so far:
- The Morning Dump
- Dream Decoder
- The F Word Throwdown (not the F word you’re thinking of)
- The Situation Stepback
- A Letter to My Condition
And what’s great is you can flip to any one of these exercises when you need it most without worrying about missing some important part early on.
Honestly, I can not say enough wonderful things about this amazing book. It has been my favourite read of the summer so far, I am continuously finding new insights and inspirations to keep positive. So I highly recommend trying it out for yourself if you are up for the journey- that is.
Best of luck, and happy reading!
How to embrace new experiences and set our expectations for fun!
So here is my theory. I believe when we challenge ourselves to step outside of our comfort zones, and into new experiences then there is a much to be enjoyed and learned from it, as long as we aren’t setting our expectations too high or not giving it the benefit of the doubt. Also by being open to these new experiences we’re also opening ourselves up to a more enriching lives with every opportunity that comes our way. And allowing it to be anything and everything, as it is. From there, there’s no knowing where it will lead or what will come next. You may find new ways to spend your time or find out something you might have thought wasn’t for you actually is. Just give it a chance to surprise you. No matter what we are currently experiencing or doing there is something to be learned from it if we are open to it, so why not embrace that as well and throw fun in their just for fun’s sake! An especially valid point for really new experiences.
I’ll admit looking back, I didn’t always believe this to be true. A younger version of me would have shyed away from such activities simply because they sounded too new to me. Immediately, my mind would fill with doubt as I pictured the worst case scenario happening to each outside my comfort zone. I would also set expectations too high and be
victim to disappointment or disappointing myself if it didn’t turn out just so. What I now realize is by closing myself off to these opportunities I wasn’t allowing the opportunity to be fun and enjoyable. By being open to more experiences now-a-days that have surprised me and where I’ve had a blast, really been able to be present in that moment, felt pride for at least trying and most importantly HAD FUN!
Here are just a few: baking then cooking, doing crafts, travelling- that was a big one, but highly rewarding, drumming and dancing. At one point, or other they all seemed foreign and undoable to me now the more I try them or in different ways the more open I am to try them again!
To sum up- here is my simpler list of ways to set FUN as the expectation:
- Sometimes we have to be gentler on ourselves for not quite getting the moves right, or getting anything right the first time. Ask yourself: “Am I having Fun?” and if the answer is “Yes!” then you’re doing great!
- Putting expectations on it to go perfectly or for us to be perfect at it. Is too much to ask, and will only get us stuck in our heads and out of being present in the moment. You can’t expect to be perfect at something you’ve never tried folks! So, why set yourselves up for failure or disappointment?
- Also it’s impossible to go into any new situation positively when doubt and pessism cloud your thoughts. What that means is we’re closing off the experience to be what it is by already picturing what it won’t be or putting negative energy towards its’ outcome. Try going in open-minded, and embracing it for however it turns out!
- And finally…be proud of yourself for taking that first step and going through with it! Sometimes, it’s as simple as saying “Heck! Yes!” even if you aren’t entirely sure what it will entail. Savour the experience and how you feel by being open, positive, having fun and feeling pride just for trying it out!
When I started setting these expectations for myself then it was definitely easier for me to say “Yes” to more new experiences, enjoy them more and have fun!
Images: Courtesy of Google