Creativity

Art journal playdate

Tonight my best friend/business partner and I spent a good few hours art journaling together. This is something I usually do alone, but it was fun to have the company and talk as we journaled.

In the past we have spent many a Saturday night going out drinking (and many a Sunday morning regretting it). More recently we have been catching up over a cup of coffee or a movie when we aren’t planning our business.

But there was something really nice about sharing an activity that is usually solitary. We had a few glasses of wine, put on some music, and played with our art supplies.

It was a great way to relax and renew our creative energies while also catching up and spending time together. Plus, the inspiration was contagious.

If you have a creative friend who you can do this with, I highly recommend it. Journaling is naturally a very private and solitary act, and it can be fun to approach it in a different way. I would suggest that you only do this with a friend who you totally trust and feel comfortable around, and who you know won’t judge or criticise your work.

Here are some of the images I created in my altered book journal. Loving just playing in here!

altered-book-1

altered-book-3

altered-book-4

altered-book-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creativity, Self Empowerment

The risk to blossom

 

Anais Nin famously said:

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.

I love this quote, so much. It is only recently that I have come to realise that it is too painful for me to remain tight in a bud – I am now taking the risk to blossom.

I think this quote means that we stay in our comfort zones, we deny our true feelings and we try to protect ourselves.

Since starting a regular journaling routine, I have come to realise that I can blossom – it isn’t as scary or dangerous as it seems. I have all the courage I need inside.

Here are a few of the ways I used to ‘remain tight in a bud’:

  • Drinking
  • Watching a lot of television
  • Spending hours online
  • Napping
  • Overeating
  • Spending time with people I didn’t really care for, just so I wouldn’t have to be alone
  • Overworking, becoming exhausted
  • Denying that I had any control over my life
  • Shopping aimlessly
  • Dieting relentlessly
  • Perfectionism and procrastination

But now that I’ve created an ongoing dialogue with my true, authentic self through my daily journaling routine, I am finding the courage to ‘blossom’ in these ways:

  • Starting (and continuing) a creative practice
  • Experimenting with different art supplies and techniques, such as acrylic paint, watercolour, mixed media, crayons, pencils, pens, etc
  • Building a tiny house
  • Starting my own creative business
  • Acknowledging my deepest desires and daring to believe I can make them a reality
  • Sharing my work, my thoughts and ideas with others
  • Accepting myself as a flawed but deeply lovable human being
  • Quitting dieting

These are just a few of the ways I have sought to change my life over the past 6 months. Looking back now it seems like I’ve made quite a few big changes – most of them are internal. Most of them are shifts in my sense of courage, of determination. the external changes have naturally flowed on from there.

I can’t say it enough: it is the simple act of journaling each day that has allowed me to get to this point. It is the ongoing conversation with my true self, with my inner wisdom and courage. It is being awake in my life, rather than numbing my feelings through the things in the first list above.

So I challenge you: in what ways do you attempt to remain tight in a bud, and how can you find the courage to blossom?

Creativity

A peek into my vision journals

Today I just wanted to share a few images from my vision journals.

One of these is my creative dream journal, which is a berry coloured A5 planner from Kikki K (very similar to a Filofax).

creative-dream-journal

The other journal is part of a business and blogging journal that I’m working on at the moment with The Right Brain Business Plan and The Creative Entrepreneur, as well as including anything else for my business planning that inspires me.

blog-and-business-journalI love to use magazine images and words to help me in these journals. I love magazines that have images of creative things – art, writing, desks – as well as homes, gardens and other similar images. These are the images that resonate the most with me.

I tend to have one big session where I go through a stack of magazines and cut out anything I find appealing. Then another time I will put on a movie, or music, or an audio book, and just spend a couple of hours arranging the images and words. Sometimes I will add my own words, and washi tape if I feel like it.

The thing I have noticed is that it is important to work quickly and not get too hung up on getting it perfect. Try to work from your intuition rather than logic. The idea is to create images and words that make you feel inspired – it’s like creating a vision board in a journal. It’s images designed to generate the positive feelings of whatever it is you hope to draw closer to you.

The two things I am most working on at the moment are building my creative business and finding a wonderful place to live.

vision-1

vision-5

vision-4

vision-3

What Inspires Me

Weekly inspiration

Each week I publish a series of links to websites and blogs that have inspired me. If you have anything that has inspired you this week, please share it in the comments below!

> I enjoyed reading this excerpt from Sassoon’s diary

> I stumbled upon this page and now I’m going to spend the next month soaking in the images and inspiration!

> My friend and business partner has started a new series documenting our creative business planning journey

> I really want a Midori Traveler’s Notebook, but they aren’t cheap! So I’m taking my inspiration from here to to make a fauxdori

> This week I’ve been playing in my art journal and so anything art-journal related really inspires me. This is cool!

Creativity

Journal prompt: The journey

I was thinking tonight on the drive home from work how much I’ve changed over the past few years.

In particular, the past six months of consistent journaling have seen me reconnect with myself. This is a strange thing to say, but it’s true.

I feel more like myself than I have in a long time – possibly ever.

hot-air-balloonsIt’s like I was going through the motions, feeling like my life was a little off, not quite what I wanted – but I couldn’t put my finger on what it was that was wrong.

Now I know what was wrong. I was afraid (there’s that word again!). Afraid to listen to the little voice inside me – that’s when I could hear it – and afraid to make the changes I so craved to make.

I was afraid of failure, of what people would think, of having regrets, of not doing what I ‘should’ do.

And you know what? Fuck it. Life is too damn short.

I’m not afraid anymore.

The world is mine for the taking. I’m leaving behind the things that make me unhappy, the fears that people will judge me, or that I will make a mistake.

I’m creating an unconventional and exceptional life. I’m building a tiny house. I’m starting my own creative business so that I can work for myself, helping others and doing work I love. I’m creating regularly. I’ve quit dieting. These are just the first few steps towards a happier, healthier, more fulfilling life.

journey-quote

Here is possibly my most favourite poem, ever. It summarises my journey, and I’m sure, the journey of many others.

‘The Journey’ by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
‘Mend my life!’
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.

You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations
though their melancholy
was terrible. It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.

But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice,
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do – – –
determined to save
the only life you could save.

>>> Prompts:

What is your journey? Can you describe it in a few sentences or paragraphs or a poem? If you’re stuck, try to write it in the second person as Oliver has done in her poem.

How have you changed?

Is there a journey you would like to take (either metaphorical or literal)? What is stopping you?

Do you feel like yourself? If so, how do you know? If not, why not?

What Inspires Me

What’s inspired me this week

Every week I share some of the things that have inspired me online recently. Please feel free to add any of the things that have inspired you in the comments!

A really cool interview with journaler Dawn Herring

Mel asks the big questions about creativity and work

Your impact matters

Found this online course and thinking about taking it to help me launch my online creative business

Can’t wait until I have some time to explore this amazing art journal class