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,
A Book in Review: “My Part-time Paris Life: How Running Away Brought Me Home”, By: Lisa Anselmo
I would recommend this book to anyone who loves an adventuresome read and has an curiosity for travel, because in Lisa’s memoir on transitioning into Paris life it delivers both. As her physical journey from New York to Paris unravels so it becomes an emotional story about letting go and discovering oneself away from almost everything familiar. It was these elements mixed with her incredibly descriptive take on Paris and honest storytelling abilities laying out many of her doubts and fears in the process that made me feel like I was experiencing it all with her and getting to know Paris from her perspective.
Set in both cities (New York and Paris) Lisa further shows you what the real Paris is like- not the touristy experience many of us get who go there- her story also tells of courage, resilience and the importance of embracing things for what they are. All that said, I was instantly drawn into her story and found myself longing to explore Paris myself or at least learn more about the city that held such a strong fascination for Lisa. There was also more than one occasion through reading her book that a line or two popped out and made me think of my own experiences like “Hey I’ve thought exactly that before!” or “Wow. See feels that too sometimes.” Which is no surprise with such universal messages throughout that we all have experienced, thought or wrestled with; it’s not only a story for travellers but for anyone who enjoys taking on new challenges and discovery new parts of old places.
Finishing it I couldn’t believe came so fast but it also made me long to experience Paris as she had. It’s just one of those stories you have to read to believe (as I did) and find the transformative power of sometimes the biggest risks come with great personal rewards.
To all those in search of self-discovery, more travel or want something that creates a great escape into a foreign city through reading, this book is for you.
So here it is probably the most obvious advice you have ever heard and exactly what I’m telling you now, which is: the best way to prove others wrong is to take away their reason for being wrong, by doing what is right.” For example: if you are accused of not showing up, show up and be accountable. Often find yourself telling fibs or making up excuses- STOP! stop making up reasons that add to theirs and show the alternative outcome, listen, do whatever it is that is expected and what they don’t expect from you. Prove to them that you are capable of change through your actions.
It’s not always easy, and will possibly take great courage on your part. To show up when it’s hard or you don’t believe it will help (even if it doesn’t at first) but consistency is key in this. It’s also what will help it sink in for you (hopefully). I know that’s what has helped me finally understand this tricky truth, is through experience. Enough times I have given reasons out to make them right (without even realizing it), and often enough have got myself in trouble for stubbornly believing that my way of seeing things and therefore assuming my own solution was right. So speaking from experience here, yes it’s not easy but it’s also worth it. When you realize this it will open up a whole new world of awareness and bring a greater undeterred determination to the situation/person. It may take quite a bit of practice each day. When you’re consistency demonstrating to those who challenge you what you are really like it becomes harder for them to argue against that. At least that’s the hope, anyways. *Note: Doing this in a negative or mean-spirited way, really isn’t best. For it to have maximum affects on both sides (meaning you and them) it’s best to approach from a positive, accepting place. Which could catch your fellow doubters off guard as well.
Final point: Let your actions speak louder than your words. Because they naturally do, and spiteful words don’t do much in helping anyways.
Insights on easing into flow (of life)- unsettling feelings and all
I’ve noticed something recently, which is sometimes that even the goodness of having most things settled in life- for example: happy in our careers or pursing passions we love and having friends that truly care for us- can be quite a shock if you aren’t used to those good vibes. We may wish for such things and provide great contentment but if you are used to looking for or having conflict this transiton too can seem even the slightest bit unsettling. When there’s nothing iminent for our minds to obsess about it may seem too good to be true. I suppose that’s where the saying came from… when good happened to appear in one’s life it seemed unbelievable and so too good to be true.
Here’s an interesting thought… what if we actually begin to believe in the good and it’s not too good to be true? Can you imagine how that could change your whole outlook? I couldn’t until it occured to me that these moments may also be fleeting- meaning not lasting forever- so with that I tried my best to appreciate it now. And by believing this in a positive manner you’ll quickly realize as I did that what you have is already more than enough. It also may not always mean that you love every aspect of what’s going on to me this seems unrealistic, there are always going to be days when this practice is harder than other, when there may be moments that aren’t as wonderful as you’d like them to be.
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can’t change. The courage to change the things I can. And the wisdom to know the difference!
How this practice works (in my experience): Instead of dwelling on those things that aren’t so perfect or good you focus on what is good- say if things seem difficult, focus on what isn’t; or going through a challenging time perhaps focus on the support you have or tools that may help versus. what definitely won’t help (complaining about the problem). By putting energy towards what you do have you are not only inviting more good in but not letting the negative ruin your day. It took a bit of mind training for me to figure out how to cut the habit of complaining out of my life, and how to focus on the good or other activities that I enjoy more (than work and complaining) but each opportunity to put this in practice it’s gotten easier as time went on.
Final tip: Try journalling to release those negative thoughts in a safe place before they have a chance to take over your thinking.
Part 1: The Backstory.
Have you ever been asked “what are you up to?” or “how’s work?” and equipped with your average answer thought that it was okay until another’s response comes up? It puts perspective and comparison in our minds, which is always out there, in all facets of life. The latest for me seems to be in hearing what others are doing and was becoming envious of their enthusiasm towards what they do. Somehow after that mine always felt lacking when it came to job progress and updates. To fill this gap of inadequacy in my own mind I’d often find a way to make it sound like my job had something interesting going on or that something interesting had been happening. Even if it meant creating something as an added spin to my second pre-programmed responses “the usual” or “not much”. While it seemed an okay response for me eventually I realized there were always those one or two times where I allowed myself the chance to really stop and think about how I was answering and if it was one true to me.
For some reason, the answer always came up as “no” to those questions. Perhaps it was knowing in my own heart, that it just wasn’t an answer I’d like to produce or that in my mind the job that pays didn’t seem good enough anymore. Left with the sinking feeling that perhaps the honeymoon period had worn off and a yearning for something more taking the place I knew there must be more out there for me. After all I knew how I wanted to feel, which was enthused, excited, passionate about what I’m up to not bored, dissatisfied and stuck. Most importantly I wanted some exciting to share with family.
There is nothing like going away or getting time off work to relax and unwind from how hectic life can be. Even if we’re not working, taking a break from our day-to-day routines can be a good thing. It can allow us a fresh mindset and perhaps new perspective on our goals and progress on them. A taking stock, if you will of all we’ve done so far and how we plan to tackle the next chunk of time. It is also a good chance to turn off our brains and stop obsessing about work or chores and enjoy life. When it’s time to return back to routines there will be a chance to revisit those thoughts but they do us no good on much deserved vacations.
I’ve found it can also take some adjusting to being back at work. So how can one prepare for? To start I suppose is accepting that things may have changed while you were away, in which it will take some adjusting to the new flow of work upon arrival or if you are lucky enough that not much has happened it may be adjusting to more work piling up. Either way it may take some time, patience and willingness to find routine again. If you are lucky perhaps a day is enough to readjust, for myself I’ve found sometimes it takes a little longer more like a week to accept work life again. Continue reading
Finding the Courage to Go for It!
Goal setting has always been a curious pursuit of mine. One in which I’ve had the greatest intentions to take on but have somehow found ways to avoid doing the work or haven’t really been able to summon the courage to go for. Yes, courage I believe is what it takes to pursue such ambitions along with the guts to give up fear and the long list of excuses that come with justifying why it can’t work before beginning. It can be a dance between wanting to accomplish these things and actually following through on what we intended doing.
I know the feeling all too well and how frustrating it can be to figure out how to get over this snafu in really sticking to our own words and not finding ways to justify why it can’t be done or why it may be too much work for you or I. Seriously? what kind of reason is not getting around to it because too much time has been wasted complaining about the work or lack of time? Or too much time? Or the distractions? Or whether others may like it? Or where it will lead before even beginning? With that said I’ve realized that a lot of it is my own fears many I don’t know specifically, but even realizing they were holding me back was a huge ah ha! and first step. It takes something to realize what has been holding one back isn’t any external circumstances but our own self. That something often is courage, the courage to achieve regardless of what our fears are, to disregard what others may think and go for it out of our own strength. I’ve always sensed this in my own mind that going for our goals will take some form of bravery. To create a plan for ourselves in pursuing our individual passions but I also believe it to be a worthwhile cause. Even admitting that out loud takes guts to say, you know I’m glad for all I have but there’s this feeling urging me to explore more out there. It’s a brave statement to put other there, one in which might invite the unknown in, but also great possibilities.
Oh well… it’s something I’m bravely willing to declare here. I chose to go for it all here and instead of thinking what if I fail think instead what if I succeed. Let’s think in the positive and see what happens. As of this year I am going to do my darnest not to let the negative voices bring me down. That’s right. It’s my turn to do the talking and listen to the ones inside my head saying “Maybe… there is more out there, my dear.” This is where I test my courage and explore greater possibilities, actually take action and welcome in this New Year with excitement, hope and determination to truly make it count.
How about you? Are you ready to answer Not anymore to fear! (Feel free to let me know below in the comments, I’d be interested to hear)
With greatest intentions, hope and excitement
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
My thoughts on it based on past experiences
It seems from experience, you may never know how ready for change you are, until the day it happens. This is what can make it challenging, to prepare or plan, even in the most obvious of circumstances there is still something to that change out of our control. So the only way to be ready then is to look back and realize that what made you ready was getting through the change and being brave enough to take on more endeavours in the future.