What Inspires Me

What’s inspiring me right now

tiny house corner

Every so often I share some of the things that are inspiring me. Here’s what I’ve loved this week…

Here’s a great journal prompt: What if you fully embraced it?

I love Allison’s musings on consistency

Have you seen Heather’s guided journal, Write Your Truth? That title really speaks to me!

These tips might help you find your visual style

Have you really stopped to think about how you’re using technology?

Loving this idea for art journaling inspiration: Mood Board Monday

Wow. I had no idea Jim Carrey was such an awesome artist – watch this short clip for some super inspiration!

Creativity, Meaningful Work

How journaling helps you take action towards your dreams

I love dreaming. I love setting goals, making plans, getting excited about the possibilities for the future.

When it comes to taking action, however, I often falter. I let fear stop me. I struggle to break out of my usual habits and routines to do something different. I let inertia keep me where I am.

I have found journaling to be the number one tool to keep me accountable and help me take positive action to move towards my dreams. For years I would have these ideas for how my life could be different, but I never did anything differently. I wanted to leave teaching and have my own business. I wanted to build and live in a tiny house. I wanted to own my own piece of land. I wanted to write and create often.

Journaling regularly forced me to confront myself. It highlighted the incongruity I was experiencing—wanting something and not doing anything about it.

That’s why so few of us actually take action towards what we say we want: we don’t actively acknowledge that we say we want one thing, then do something else. While we are usually dimly aware of this, we don’t confront it often.

Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way and creator of morning pages says, ‘it is very difficult to complain about a situation morning after morning, month after month, without being moved to constructive action. The pages lead us out of despair and into undreamed-of solutions’.

But if you turn to the pages of your journal often enough, you will be forced to confront this: you say you want X, but you keep doing Y. It will create a sense of cognitive dissonance – an uncomfortable feeling when you realise how much your dreams and actions conflict with each other.

Slowly, you will find a way to make small changes. You will come to see the absurdity of what you’re doing now and how it is completely incongruent with the life you say you want, and you will start to do things differently. You will take action.

Eventually, your life will come into alignment with the vision you have in your mind’s eye. One day you’ll look around and realise that you’re living the life you once imagined you could live.

What Inspires Me

What’s inspiring me right now

Every few weeks I share the things that are really inspiring me – at least, I want it to be every few weeks, but I don’t always get there. No matter. Here’s what I’m loving right now.

journey home

This post by Jamie called I’m Taking My Blog Back – turns out I’m not alone in being so over blogging as a marketing tool, rather than for self-expression

The always inspiring Effy Wild is offering this free class on how she makes her Sweet Trash Journals

Join Kristal Norton for her free series Soul Truths to get creatively un-stuck

Deb talks about the idea of the starving artist and how we can decide to be a well-fed artist. Here’s another really interesting post on this idea

Love this eye-opening post from Tammy at Rowdy Kittens about how much we let our phones distract us (it’s probably more than you think)

Are you afraid to call yourself a writer?

I just love how Tammy at Daisy Yellow writes out the alphabet to relax! These would make awesome journal backgrounds/collage papers

What are your immortality projects? This is a fascinating concept to explore in your journal!

Creativity, Meaningful Work, Spirituality

Letting my intuition be my compass in business

honest and authentic

This morning my intuition spoke to me, clearly.

It was unexpected, while I was doing something else, as is often the case.

I was making coffee and thinking about what I want to achieve today. I was thinking that I should write a blog post, that proper bloggers post regularly and share helpful things like ‘Five ways to ditch self-doubt’ and ‘How to get more energy in three simple steps’, and my inner creative self just shriveled up at the thought of it.

I hate the pressure I sometimes feel as a blogger. Don’t get me wrong – I love writing. It’s one of my main passions. I love putting words on the page and expressing my deepest feelings. Actually, most of my journaling is written. But I hate feeling like I should post, and like I should share something that is catchy, useful, inspiring, entertaining… because most of the time I don’t have things like this to share.

I think that’s one of the biggest misconceptions about life coaches – that they have it all figured out – that’s why they are coaches. Not at all: coaches aren’t experts, and if you come across one who claims to be, please don’t give them your money. Coaches don’t have the answers – not for you. They have the tools to help you find your own answers inside.

And that’s one thing I am good at – listening to my own answers, from my own inner wisdom inside.

As I was making my coffee, I thought, I wish I could just blog like I write in my journal: tune into my intuition and let it flow, see what it has to say. Just as I trust my intuition to offer answers in my journal, I wish I could blog in much the same way.

And then my intuition spoke. It said: you can.

I’ve been longing for more authenticity in my work. I’ve been longing to be seen more, to share who I really am, to let my guard down.

I’ve been feeling overwhelmed about how I’m just one tiny voice in a massive sea of people all clamouring for attention, and feeling like I will never be heard. Every time I open my inbox there are another 15 emails from people launching a new course or product, asking for my money. I don’t want to be one of those people, but at the same time I want a flourishing business and I want to help people. I also need to, you know, buy food and stuff.

I recently read this fascinating article about how to make your business and brand stand out and it spoke to me:

As the face of your brand, you have an automatic advantage because you ARE inherently different. You bring to the table a unique perspective, a different set of life experiences, a distinctive personality. You are what makes your business and brand distinctive – and so by bringing more of YOU into your business and brand, standing out becomes second nature.

After doing some work in my journal I realised that what makes me, me – that is, what makes me unique – is my sensitivity. The reason is this: I have very strong feelings about things. I care a LOT about things, I am extremely passionate and opinionated, easily excited… but I seldom share this passion and excitement because I am (most of the time without even realising it) trying to construct a certain image. I’m trying not to offend people. I’m trying to remain palatable for everyone. But of course, this means I’m not really being my whole self.

While I’m busy trying to write blog posts that are catchy, my own voice is lost. I’m never going to be heard this way.

my truth

So when my intuition nudged me this morning to try writing from the soul, instead of writing what I think people want to hear, I was curious. This is the result: a piece of writing that is true and honest. Because, what’s the point if what I’m writing isn’t true to me?

This is how I want to blog: in the same way I journal. Show up, let my intuition speak, see what it has to say. Some days it might offer ‘three simple tips’ for something, other days it might ramble and make little sense.

But I am SO SICK of trying to fit into the online business world and be something I’m not. One of the main reasons I chose to grow my own business and work for myself is to work in a way that honours who I am – not to find another mold I need to try and fit into.

If I can’t be authentic in my own business, where can I be? If I can’t let my soul speak in my creative work, if I can’t just be myself in my online space and in the way I interact with others online, then what’s the point? I may as well go back to a more stable paycheque as a teacher!

Really I think this comes down to trust – trusting your intuition. Trusting what it has to share. This is all fine and good in your own journal, when no one else is going to read it, but what about in a blog post? What about online, in my business, where I’m supposed to be ‘professional’?

What if I really leaned into this?

What if I trusted my intuition to share worthwhile content and messages, not just for me in my journal, but here, on my blog, in my business, with others?

What if my intuition doesn’t just have something that is necessary for me to hear, but for others too?

What if I really let this be my compass in my work?

The advice we are given is that we have to find a way to stand out, that people are more distracted and busy than ever, that unless we write something catchy we won’t get their attention.

But what if I just write what my soul wants to share, regardless of whether or not it gets multiple pins? What if I trust that being authentic, speaking from the heart and sharing my truth is enough?

What Inspires Me

What’s inspiring me right now…

on my table

Sometimes I share the things that are inspiring me when I’m not busy being mama. Here are some of the things I’m loving at the moment…

Read this if you have forgotten you are magic

Are you struggling with idea debt?

The stories I’m reading in Naked Money are truly inspiring and enlightening. You can still sign up for this free community project to explore what it means to make money as a creative

I loved this post on what it means to be an artist – with or without the support of your partner

Feeling overwhelmed as a mother? Maybe this is why…

Here’s 46 lists you can make when you are feeling overwhelmed

Also, did you enter the giveaway for Write to the Centre? It’s such a gorgeous journaling book!

Creativity

Write to the Centre – A book review and giveaway

Write to the Centre: Navigating life with gluestick and words
by Helen Lehndorf

Write to the Centre - Helen Lehndorf

Do you ever feel like you are a total weirdo? Like no one understands you, or if people knew what you really think, they might be horrified? Do you ever struggle to understand your own feelings and reactions to things and need a bit of help untangling them? I do, I do and I do. – Helen Lehndorf

This book. I don’t know where to start except to say that I love it. LOVE it.

Flipping through it simply to look at the gorgeous imagery is enough to inspire me – a few pages in and I’m itching to get out my journal, gluestick and paints, and get creating.

But the text itself is also inspiring. I’d describe it as part how-to, part memoir. The author shares excerpts from her own journal alongside guidance on journal-keeping. All her ideas and advice are illustrated by her own words from her own journals.

From Write to the Centre

There’s just something so intimate and comforting about reading the words of another’s journals – something that tells you that you’re not alone in your feelings, experiences, views of the world. By the end of the book I feel like I know Helen – like I’ve met a kindred spirit on a journey similar to mine: someone trying to find their way in the world, using creative practice to make sense of it all.

She covers topics like getting started and making journaling a habit, allowing the ugly, navigating life transitions in your journal, processing pain, solving problems, creating rituals, appreciating the good. And each chapter ends with a unique and detailed journaling prompt to get you working in your own journal.

From Write to the Centre

My favourite thing about this book is the imagery from Helen’s visual journals. It is an absolute feast for the eyes and soul; Helen’s distinctive and unique journaling style is colourful, messy and intuitive. She combines collage, painting and her handwriting to create honest and interesting journal pages (see more of her style here). It’s a great book to dip into for a creative boost.

You can grab your copy of the book here.

Giveaway

—- The giveaway is now closed —-

Helen has been generous enough to provide me with a copy to give away. I’m so thrilled to be able to do this because it is such a gorgeous book and it needs to be in the hands of every visual journaler. I’m also throwing in a set of watercolour paints to get you painting in your journal. Here’s how to enter:

  • Share this post, or the image below on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+) or on your own blog
  • Use the hashtag #writetothecentregiveaway
  • Comment below (so I know you’ve shared it and I have a way to contact you!) telling me where you shared it and what you love most about journaling
  • Closes August 31st midnight EST 2017

Win a copy of the gorgeous journaling book Write to the Centre and a set of watercolour paints!

Full disclosure – I was sent a free copy of the book and asked to review it – but I had already purchased my own copy so that’s why I’m giving this copy away. Everything I’ve said in this review comes from my heart – I just adore the book and recommend it to any journaling enthusiast like myself.

What Inspires Me

A little inspiration

Every now and again I share some of the things that have inspired me. Here are a few favourites from this week.

journey

I was honoured to be featured in the Art Journal Love series over on Leslie’s blog, Words of Me. You can find more from the series on her blog (there is SO much art journaling goodness on there, including this list of 20 ideas to get you inspired in your art journal!)

I’m so excited to have my friend Deb join me in the 17 non-fiction books in 2017 challenge (read more about the challenge here)

I’m currently obsessed with this album

Love this flip-through of Rae Missigman’s art marks journal

There are some great art journal ideas in the Journal Friday posts over at Journal Fodder Junkies

Have you ever tried making a moonboard?

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Have an inspired week!