What Inspires Me

Sunday gratitude

I like to reflect on the things that I am grateful for from the week that has been. I’ve written about gratitude before and I think it can be great to remind ourselves of the little (and not so little!) things that have gone well for us. Not just remind ourselves, but to truly take a moment to appreciate how lucky we are.

This week I am grateful for:

  • Time away from work
  • Going for walks in the evening with my pup
  • Spending time with my partner
  • Working on the tiny house plans
  • A catch up with my parents
  • Coffee with my sister
  • Time away to relax and create with my best friend
  • Getting back into written journaling every morning
  • Catching up on sleep
  • Getting my work out the way so I can enjoy the next week to myself

One thing I didn’t do much of last week was my art journaling. I have a couple of great art journaling courses I’m doing online that I’m behind in, so hope to use the upcoming week to really immerse myself in them. Then I should have more art journaling to share next week.

What are you grateful for from the week that’s been? What do you hope to achieve in the week to come?

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Creativity

Journal prompt: Your perfect day

I’m at the beginning of a journey to overhaul my life.

There are many things I want to change, and I’m using journaling as a tool to keep me honestly asking myself what I want my life to look like, and to help me find the courage I need each step of the way.

I also use my journal as a place to dream what my new life will look like.

We often do this for the big picture stuff – what job we want, where we want to live, what kind of partner we are looking for.

I think it can be easy to overlook the simple day-to-day moments that make up a good life. A while ago I asked you to dream big by thinking about what you want for your life in your journal. Now, I want you to dream smaller: think about your perfect day. This journal prompt should help you to do just that.

perfect-day

Sandy Grason (author of Journalution) says:

In your journals you can collect visions of how you would like your days to unfold. Reflect on them often. Meditating on these visions and imagining that you are living them will help attract the circumstances to create them. As you get clearer and clearer about your life and your dreams, paths will appear.

>>> Prompt:

Write, in great detail, about your perfect day. Start in the morning. Consider where you wake up – what kind of bed it is, who is there with you, what time of day it is. What can you see around you? What view is out the window? What do you do – do you get up and make coffee, do you stretch before the sunrise, or do you sleep until midday? What do you eat for breakfast? Who do you spend your time with, and what do you do? Give all the details. Continue in much the same amount of detail for the rest of the day.

details

Here’s the fun part – you don’t have to limit yourself to one day. Perhaps you could do one ‘outrageous’ perfect day (you know – the one where you wake up and Johnny Depp is next to you, wanting to take you shopping and then rub your tired feet) and one more ‘likely’ perfect day.

My perfect day involves waking up when I felt rested, listening to my body rather than an alarm clock.

It means having the time and freedom to play in my art journal, write and walk my pup with my partner. Time out in nature, time to rest, delicious food. This is certainly achievable for me, in my long-term plans, and having regular days like this will really help to fill me up.

These are the kinds of perfect days I will incorporate more and more into my life as I create a life more in line with my values.

My ‘outrageous’ perfect day involves waking up in Rome and wandering down the cobbled streets eating pastry before flying to Manhattan to party into the night with the cast of The Office. Not exactly something I would want for my everyday life (or very likely to happen!), but certainly an amazing day!

What is your perfect day?

Creativity, Self Empowerment, Spirituality

Gratitude as a daily practice

 

There is a good deal of scientific evidence to support the practice of gratitude, much of it from Martin Seligman.

While I actively try to practice gratitude each day through simply thinking about what I’m lucky to have in my life, Seligman suggests writing a list of things that went well in your day, so that you have a physical record.

As a creative journaling addict, I look for any excuse to get out the art supplies and play! A daily gratitude list is the perfect excuse.

Seligman suggests that the reason we need to make a conscious effort to acknowledge what is good in our lives is because we are hardwired to look out for threats and danger.

We tend to spend more time analysing things that have gone wrong, rather than celebrating the good things, because in the past, it made good sense for our survival. Of course, things are  a little different now.

As part of your daily gratitude practice, take a few minutes towards the end of the day to write three things that went well that day. Also write why they happened. You should do this for at least a week to experience positive changes.

For example, my list today looks like this:

  • I wrote in my journal for two hours because this is important to me and I made the time
  • I slept in late because I needed the rest and wanted to look after myself
  • I wrote two blog posts, despite missing a day, because I’m committed to finishing the 100 Days Project

What are three things that have gone well for you today? Why have they gone well? Try to do this every day for a week and see how you’re feeling. It need only take 5 minutes tops!

Seligman promises that by practising gratitude each day like this, we’ll be “less depressed, happier, and addicted to this exercise six months from now.”

Sounds pretty good to me!

What Inspires Me

Find beauty in the ordinary

Today, take some time to look around you. Notice the beauty in the most ordinary things. Sometimes we can get so busy running from one thing to the next, or thinking about what is coming to us in the future, that we forget to notice the beauty around us now.

ordinary-beauty

Some of the beauty I noticed today:

  • Cuddles with my puppy
  • A hot cup of coffee
  • The scent of beautiful flowers
  • Dinner with my family
  • Laughs with my partner
  • Time alone to journal and be creative
  • A warm and cosy bed to come home to
  • A lovely comment on a blog post

There are many things I hope to achieve in the (near) future, but I also aim to remind myself of the beauty around me in my life right now.

Look for beautiful and ordinary moments in your day. Write your own list in your journal.