Showing posts with label inspiration. Show all posts
Showing posts with label inspiration. Show all posts

15 June 2017

7 Ways To Shine a Spotlight on Your Inspiration


(an upgraded post)


1. Blogs

There are so many insanely awesome and inspiring blogs out there. There are blogs about writing, blogs about creative lifestyles, and even blogs about on blogs. It's truly amazing how accessible new creators are.

Action: Surf the web for blogs centered around your favorite things - Passions, hobbies, or newfound interests.

2. Books

From fiction to non-fiction, books are entryways into new worlds and knowledge. You'll find inspiration and enjoy a good story as well. Delve into the plot while developing attachments to the main characters. If the book is well written, this should come easily.

Action: Find at least one book you think is interesting. My favorites include Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon and Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. :)

3. Quotes

Quotes are like motivational strips of words that fit easily in one's "inspirational pocket". Recently I've been collecting the ones that speak to me, writing them down on index cards and taping them to my bedroom walls. Whenever I look up from my computer screen there's something nearby that sparks inspiration, or gets me thinking. Perhaps you could do the same. Search for quotes or small phrases that touch you, and plaster them where you can see. React accordingly.

Action: Whether it be when you're scrolling through Pinterest or walking down the street, be on the lookout for a quote that strikes you to your core and resonates with you. Make sure to write it down.

4. Friends (or strangers...)

Conversations with friends are (sometimes) like fresh breaths of air. Communicating with other human beings allows us to get insight, learn, and even switch perspectives for a little while. And I'm not just talking about communication among friends. Talking to strangers is great. Listening to them is even better. I'm not telling you to stalk and eavesdrop, but when someone nearby is talking, listen. I have found inspiration in just learning the happenings of other's lives, and I bet you will too.

Action: Reach out. Listen. Do something nice for someone else. Ask other people about how they get past their creative blocks.

5. Art

It's time to whip out your old paints and paintbrushes, along with the clay, craft foam, glitter, and whatever else you may have stashed away. Get creative. Go hog wild and make a mess. When you're finished, hang your artwork on the wall, or set it on your desk. Stare at it. Study it. Allow it to inspire you in its imperfect way. Or, if you'd rather not make a big mess, there's always the simple task of Googling "inspiring artworks".

Action: Make good art.


6. Music

Plug your headphones in and take a trip to your iTunes, Spotify or the musical side of YouTube. Music is not only inspiring, it gives you a reason to get up and dance too. When I think of inspirational music, I think of Marina and the Diamonds, Christina Perri, Lorde, and (the ever so angelic) Adam Lambert. Musical tastes do vary from person to person, so if you don't like these artists, search for ones that fit your taste. Find a song that speaks to you and tear apart the lyrics, look at the meaning of the words. Ask yourself what the singer is singing about, and why it was so important to them to convey that through a song.

Action: Do you remember that song from your middle school days that you sang for days? Find it. Listen to it. Remember how it made you feel.

7. Dreams

Use your dreams as creative and inspirational fuel. Think of the dreams you had last night, or your actual goals. My personal dream/goal is to become a bestselling YA author, and I constantly have to remind myself that in order to get there, I have to write (you would think that would be easy to remember). Life gets in the way, and sometimes you just have to step back, realign yourself, and remember that you will accomplish your dreams - if you stay inspired. ;)

Action: Allow your brain to take you away. Daydream about what you want your life to be like. What's one thing you can do everyday to bring you closer to your dream?



What do YOU do when you need inspiration?

21 April 2017

Breathe with me | A reminder

I'm in a better place today than I was 1, 2, 3 years ago. When they say time heals all wounds, they weren't kidding. (I wish they would have stressed HOW MUCH time...)

With Jesus as my guide, I am rebuilding myself from pieces old and new. I find sparks of childlike wonder, and I can't help but look to the Creator in awe. You formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. (Psalm 139:13)

For all the time I spend stressing about where I am compared to where I want to be, I can still force myself to step back and not take everything so seriously. Autopilot and the buzz of routine switch off to the point where it's just me and the wild flowers. The bees and the breeze. Planet Earth beneath my feet. Fresh air in my lungs.

Breathe with me.

Slow down. Let's not grow up so fast.


16 March 2017

Bite sized: Small steps toward big goals

I am all about dat progress.


When Netflix is loading and it jumps from 2% to 70%, that's thrilling to me.

When my goal is to write 500 words and I have written 362, I know much further there is to go.

Goals and progression go hand in hand. I like to keep track of all the steps, which step I'm on, what step is next and so on. 

You can imagine my disappointment when my "inter level progress bars" indicate zero growth.


Basically this means, in my head, I don't feel like I'm moving fast enough to get anything done.

#me #alldayeveryday

Often in my day to day it seems as though I'm getting nowhere. I have been mulling this over and trying to figure out WHY I feel this way. Why do I constantly diminish what I do? Why do I feel like I'm running in place?

Simply put, I do not see the value in what I am doing.


This is different from there being NO value in what I do. The value is there. Growth is happening. My problem is that it's not enough for me. I want to go faster. Grow stronger. Be BIGGER.

The irony of this is that, in my haste, I diminish my own growth. I inhibit my own progress by trying to make more progress.

Talk about confusing.

So, how does one fight against this?

1. Note that it's all in your head.

Honestly, you're probably moving faster than you think. Sure, you're not moving at light speed, but you are moving. There's traction. There's grip. There's forward momentum. Your brain is just so used to the feeling of instant gratification that its hard to comprehend you're going the speed of a horse and buggy (as opposed to the Millennium Falcon).

2. Even a tiny step forward is considered progress.

A fragment of a sentence on a page is better than staring at a blank screen.

Ordering a coffee with a stutter is just as valid as ordering a coffee without one.

Baby steps are the way to go. And if you can't even take steps, wriggle around on the floor like a worm. Even if you don't more all that much, you'll at least make someone laugh. ;)

3. THEY are at a different part in their journey.

I am always. Constantly. Frequently. Looking at other people.

I notice things. The numbers, the adventures, and the success. It's hard not to when it's everywhere people are. Now I'm not saying people shouldn't share where they're at - in fact, I encourage it. But I do understand what it's like to play the comparison game and feel like you've come up short. News flash: No one wins in that game anyway.

A recommendation for when you compare yourself and it begins to weigh in on you: Count your blessings. Pause yourself right then and there and take a look at your life. Each of us has something wonderful in our lives that we may or may not take for granted. In a moment when you want to compare yourself with someone a time to pull that wonderful thing out and thank God for it.

Other strategies I've tried that have helped:
  • Taking a social media hiatus (to be in the moment and out of others' lives).
  • Remember that it's not the end. You're still on your journey.
  • Talk it out with friends and family. Get the thoughts out of your head and into the atmosphere.

4. The crisp of Chipotle chips. Boom.

This is not an invalid point. Stick with me here.

Chips from Chipotle are heavenly. They're thin but not so thin that they break under the weight of a heaping mound of chunky salsa. They're little salty but not too much, and they're crispy - the kind of crispy that sort of makes your thoughts disappear because the noise of your teeth breaking the chip is the only thing your brain can process.

What am I getting at?

Each chip started out as something. Salt granules. Some corn and lime - I don't know how they're made. But when all the ingredients are put together and the right steps are taken to insure their success, the results are worth every bit of effort put into making those chips possible.

Now, you can tell when someone slacked off during the chip making process. The chip bends (BENDS) when you try to bite into it. It has this weird faded color as is the life got sucked out of it. Even hot sauce and a whole bunch of burrito can't fix the situation.

Rose. What...?


Things take time, friend. Life is a process you simply cannot rush. God has put you here and equipped you with what you have for a reason. I know this seems slow. I know this seems painful. But think back to why you began in the first place - why you started drawing, why you wanted to write, why you wanted to get a degree - and relive that initial spark of, "I want to do this. I am going to do this."

Your patience and hard work will pay off. So let's not bite off more than we can chew.

5. You are enough.

Never forget.


What does bite-sized action look like for you?

09 March 2017

The Rope: Taking chances


Each morning we wake, there is a black room and an unmarked rope above our heads.

A question lingers in the dust filled air.

Will I pull it today?


There's no way of knowing what it's connected to. It could lead to light or fresh air or the carcasses of dead beetles falling in your hair.

There is no way to know until after you pull.

IF... you do.

I encourage you to stop putting it off. Stop staring at the rope. Stop fantasizing about what it will bring. Stop pretending it's not there. I know you feel the itch - the b u r n. The desire to tug and see what happens.

Your dream is on the other side. Take the chance. Don't you waste another moment now - take the chance!




But if you can't.



If you hesitate.



If it takes you a long time to lift your arm above your head...



Wrap your fingers around the rope...



And even longer



To pull



You can still say you did it.







All you have to do is pull it.




Follow your dream. Explore your passion. Pull the rope.

01 March 2017

February 2017 | Goals & Emotional Progress

This is a transparent monthly reflection where I take the time to look back, view my progress and make adjustments.

Monthly Project: Begin designing my author website.

I can't share a whole lot about this YET. Stay tuned for details...

Health → Exercise 3 days/week, drink 65oz. water/day


Exercise checked off: Yes → I exercised 13/12 days. (I began doing yoga and have no regrets.)

Water checked off: Yes → I drank 65 oz. of water 21/28 days.

Relationships → Reach out to one new person a week

How many people I reached out to or met: 5 (booyah baby)

Did I ask them a deep/personal question? Yes and no.

Did I record my encounters? Yes and no.

Finances → Grow to $7k/month

February income: $40

Career → Prep book for publication

I better defined the characters of The Messy Months: Yes

I wrote out the TMM outline: Yes/No --> Incomplete

I began the visual TMM outline: Yes

I edited a full draft: No, but I DID do a loooot of research to prepare for a full on story reconstruction.

Personal/Spiritual Development → Earn my Bachelor's degree

I completed my college Algebra class: Yes

I passed my college Algebra class: YES

I began Intro to Biology class: Yessss


Play/Recreation → Write 500+ words/day

I wrote this month: Yes

How many days this month I wrote: 15/28 (54%)


Service → Post on my blog (at least) once a month.

I posted this month on Self Known: Yes!

Link to post: selfknownblog.com/the-shadow-dwellers


This month’s notes:

Lows

  • More emotional rollercoasters. I discovered a lot about myself this month, like how much value I put in the opinions of others, how hard I try to please them and how much it hurts to do so. I'm currently in the process of rewiring this mindset. I want to get to the point where I am consistently aware I am enough. It's been rocky. I've slipped a few times. But that's okay. I don't have to be perfect.

Highs

  • This month I discovered a show called Miraculous Ladybug and I have no regrets. I'm obsessed and CAN'T WAIT FOR SEASON TWO. If you have Netflix, I highly recommend you check it out. Be careful, you may will get addicted. <3_<3
  • I completed my Algebra class, passed and began Biology. At first I was panicking because I'm not exactly "science brained", but I noticed with LOTS of repetition and a tweak in my note taking style, I CAN understand. (Another fear conquered.)
  • I went out to lunch with an old BFF and oh my word was it crazy. I drove myself there and discovered how not alone I am in this world. Such a blessing. <3

How was your February, friend?

12 February 2017

The Shadow Dwellers | For those who feel shrouded in darkness



For each tale told there's a world that holds its truth. This one takes its place in Reality, a sight filtered through the limiting beliefs of the creatures who call themselves Humans.

Volume I, Folktale III.


Darkness. An evil we’ve feared since the Beginning. We thought with experimentation and mastery of flame could surrender victory to us. But there’s a darkness that goes beyond what enters the eyes.

That is where they live.

Shadow Dwellers.

They turn their face from the sun of outgoing personalities and probe the earth for a tortoise shell shield. They’ve mastered the arts of blending in, speaking without being heard and extending themselves as bridges for the lightweight.

Soft and fluid are they. So much so that when there is an opportunity, they will, indeed, adapt. To the point where they break rule number one.

Dweller rule #1: Never open your eyes when the sun comes out.


When a Dweller opens her eyes, she is blinded. So much so that is warps her thinking. Her face gets hot, her eyebrows wilt, and the most common first thought enter the brain.

Why am I shrouded in darkness?

She is paralyzed by the very thing she will now crave.

The light.

Out of her way she will go, to manipulate and bend the light her way. But no one can quite master the darkness. Those who try rarely win this fight.

She will inevitably burn.

- - -

Do you ever feel like this?

No matter how hard you try, you're invisible. No one sees you. No one hears you. You make them laugh but so easily you are forgotten. They move on. They change, running with the tide while you sink like a rock to the bottom of the river.

Or maybe you're seen and you don't like it. You wrap the cloak of dark around your shoulders and wish you could sink.

Maybe you don't know where you are because you can't open your eyes.

Here's something to ponder.

What if we lived in the light forever?

Think beyond lovely tan. Beyond skin cancer. Beyond singed sight. Go to the lower levels where you feel uncomfortable. Sit there for a while.

Think it over.

If we were all showered in light ALL the time, how would we be able to see each other shine?

Reminders:


  • You’re not a victim.
  • You’ll find your gang.
  • I know this hurts. But please, don't take the risk of changing yourself - you may get burned. Instead, keep trying. Keep running, walking, crawling, twitching. Dream that dream, pursue that passion and turn those lemons into lemonade!
  • You’re still you. That you that picked your friend up. The you that walked through the bone-chilling air to grab someone’s coat. The you that knows how to make her laugh, make him smile, make them change their perspective. You have worlds inside you. You have God’s hand on your life. You have Better Moments ahead of you.


Grab the rail. Enjoy the view. Know when the let go.


- - -

If you found this post encouraging, please share it. Thank you for being a light in this world. <3

29 January 2017

Valued Where We Stand



I was up late one night, scrolling through my Instagram feed and telling myself to get some sleep. But once I've gotten a taste of the world and all it has to offer, it's hard to turn my brain off.

I thought about the college girls get together I was going to go to. What I was going to share - should I be deep and personal? Or is it not worth the pain? What if I cry? - and what I was going to say. I mean, what if I told them about my favorite book and how it strikes me where all the favorite books do (in the heart) because the guy chooses the gal first and things aren't always perfect between the couple but they love.

And she.

She is always his first choice.

And then I cried because there is so much talent out there, the world is so big, and I want to play my part - a whole, independent part - but there is this hungry, fleshy part of me that cries longs desires companionship.

To be valued enough to be someone's first choice.

Not romantically. But purely. To have someone meet my eyes and smile in a way that lets me know they take joy in seeing me.

These thoughts are tricky, muddy trenches.

I tend to end up slopping through the trenches because I lose sight of important things. Like the sunshine and how I do love myself - crazy as it seems. I am enough, yet I forget.

So when that rope comes down and the search light sears my eyes--

What is that?

What pulls me free?

Not self.

Not man.

But God.

It says, in Titus 3, verses 3 through 5: "At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit..."

We are valued where we stand. Or fall. Or flail or weep or cry out with joy. The point is, God cares and does not cast His gaze away.

No matter how softly we cry.

Friend, it's okay to feel empty. It's okay to feel as though you lack belief. Or just feel as though you lack. If only we could wrap our heads around the fact that one moment doesn't have to define everything. One desire doesn't have to be a searing pain in your side for the rest of your days. One disappointment doesn't have to lead to constant failure.

We are enough.

We are valued.

We are human. We bounce back, rebuild, and use phrases until they become cliches. Because. We. Are. Stubborn!

Life is not a bright and shining gold-paved street. It is a walk through paper cuts and hand sanitizer rain.

Bind your wounds:


  • Luke 12:6, 7
  • 1 Corinthians 10:13
  • Matthew 11:28 - 30
  • John 16:33
  • Zach Williams - Chain Breaker
  • Bethel - No Longer Slaves


Now let's win.

02 January 2017

How We Rise

Human beings are strange creatures.

We isolate our own kind. Judge based on our senses and react according to what our emotions say.

And yet.

Somewhere out there, one of us is scooping a child that is not our own blood into our arms, whispering: It's okay. You're safe now.

One of us is donating money. And if not money, time.

Another is carefully structuring a story that will crumble the hearts of millions of fangirls. (Is this good? Is this evil? Who am I to say?)

Humans are tricky. Life is sticky. But even when you can't navigate a situation. Even when the earth twists up and your sense of direction is lost...

When you give in to your demons and lower yourself so they shackle your wrists and ankles for the afternoon.

Humans. We always do one thing.

Rise.

Bringing along the cracked foundations, broken bones and peeling skin, we rise as one and we rise as a mass. We bring together our shattered pieces to fuse into something so much better than the Original Masterpiece.

After a lifetime of avoiding, scrambling, running screaming from the lows and cracks, I have found the answer, friend.

Don't run away. Run toward.

From ashes, we rise.

From lows, we inflate.

From misery, love and new bonds are formed.

Sometimes we must fall to understand the blessing of standing on our feet.

- - -

Welcome to 2017, friend.


Humans are strange. Humans are lovely. This is how we rise. [Click through for more.]

19 March 2016

How to Keep Your Favorites From "Getting Old"

I am a creature of habit.

Every Saturday I read over notes from a book I read so that I keep the ideas fresh in my mind. I obsessively listen to the same songs. I talk to the same people. I love the same snacks, cherish the same clothes, even repurchase the same concealer.

But the newness tends to wear away. The shininess dulls. The love for the item or action fades out.

Today I'm going to discuss how you and I can deal with - and maybe even delay - this "getting used to" feeling.




Note: These "favorites" can be anything from notes, a fandom to an actual human. Please be aware that each situation is different and not all of these tips can apply to everything - though I tried my best to encompass as much as I could.

Ask questions

When in doubt, question everything. But don't just ask questions - seek answers! Be a curious philosopher! Go on a hunt. Dig deep within yourself. Bring new views to life. Ask yourself Who? What? Where? When? Why? How? Make notes, change your perspective and get yourself thinking.

Best for, but not limited to: Written materials such as notes, important things you want to remember, visualizations, cherished memories and so forth.


Reapply - or nah

You know what happens when you have to replace that 2 week old band-aid that's on your finger (or worse, your knee)? You have to rip it off and apply a fresh one.

The same can be done for most anything in life.

If there's an aspect that's slipped away, try to reiterate it back into your life. You have memories of the good ol' days, when the dress still fit or your friendship was still cozy. Change it up by applying it differently - just as an experiment - and see what happens.

Don't let the ideas that are worn - but still beautiful and supportive - slip away.

Best for, but not limited to: Band-aids, friendships, ideas, concepts, memories, substances, etc.


Develop practice problems

If you need to remember something or think of it in a fresh new way, try to develop problems that use, help wrap your brain around or develop that idea. Do something that will engage your brain. Be positive and try to think of the best, the worst and the in between.

Best for, but not limited to: Math, reading materials, things you want to remember and a change in perspective.


Lastly, chew on this...

If I could take a guess at the percentage amount our brains put glamours over the stuff we see, I'd say 89%. That means that, in my own opinion, I believe we see things as better, worse, impressive, lovely, etc. etc., even when they may not actually be the best things for us.

Why?

Due to our feelings.

This is a touchy subject, but I believe it to be true. Some of us (not all of us) tend to judge and evaluate based on our feelings. And if we feel unworthy, low, grumpy or even just plain mad, there's a chance we may let those emotions cloud over our judgement - and cause us to think negative things about something we wouldn't have otherwise.

The next time you feel like you're getting "used" to something, step back and make an emotional evaluation. Separate your self-worth from what you're studying, and don't let the struggle get the most of you.

Did I miss something? Comment down below with your own suggestions!

And consider this: What are you getting used to? And how are you going to change that?

12 March 2016

The Marvels of Growth

Today I’d like to talk to you about something I’ve been hyper aware of.

Growth.

You see, this time last year - and definitely two years ago - I was dealing with a lot of doubt, under confidence and bouts of depression (10x more than what I work through nowadays). And through that time I felt discouraged more often than I felt like I was making progress. All I could see were the heavy cement walls of fear closing me in.

If you are human, just as I, then I believe you know this. You know this through your own views, experiences, and the journey you’ve been traveling. We are nowhere near the end, but as I wrap up this segment in my life and move on to the next, I’d like to share with you the encouragements and reassurances that I wish someone would have sat down and expressed to me while I was flailing in the deep. Just listening and reading this is not enough, though. Open your mind, uncage your heart and dig into this, my friend. Otherwise, I’m afraid my words will mean nothing to you.

This is what I’ve learned.


1 Perspective
2 Experience
3 The Journey



Perspective

It begins like this:

I am a seed. The beginning of new life.

But you don’t realize this because you are nothing but that. A seed. You are just this echo of barely breathed life.

This echo of beginning life can be daunting, especially for a seedling. You look at the trees and see their branches, their roots, their cute little squirrel friends. And you want it. You want it, so by the sunlight, by the nourishment, by the soil, you reach for it!

And you flail.

Sometimes you roots aren’t deep enough, so the wind make you topple.

Sometimes you can’t find the nutrients for your creativity, so your growth plateaus.

Sometimes you meet the wrong person and end up getting chopped down into pieces that fuel their fire.

Sometimes you are born in a crack where the light doesn’t reach, so every speck of light you receive is a gift from God.

And what do you get from this constant toil and struggle? What do you get from being born so far beneath those before you that you can’t even touch the light?

You get new views.

You gain perspective.

You see, little seedling, when you start at the top, you cannot appreciate the bottom. You can’t relate to what others have gone through. You can’t relish in your own success.

Why?

Success means nothing when you don’t truly know what it takes to get there.

So why start out at the top where everything is easy and everything is twice as painful because you haven’t learned the lessons you needed in order to get you there in the first place?



Experience

There’s a saying that goes something like, “If at first you don’t succeed, try try again.”

That is one of growth’s favorite mottos.

You see, with this series of trial and error comes several things. The art of finetuning that comes with making adjustments. The refreshingly heavy sense of starting over. The piecing together of past projects, emotional despair and psychological miscarriages. And the most rewarding: the thrill of when it finally works together.

All of these mesh and congeal to form experience, knowledge and understanding. The beautiful balance between these are harmonized best when you go about mastering them playfully.

Let’s put it like this.

Everyone makes mistakes. But it is those who learn from their mistakes that truly grow.

The Journey

It's amazing how when we look ahead, we see how far we have yet to go. But when we look behind, we see all the coordinated steps that have gotten us to the perfect place we are at today.

I seem to be reminded of this every time I get discouraged and lack faith (and hope).

Your journey is what defines what you see.

Your journey is what defines what you experience.

Your journey will be the most painful, wonderful, authentic thing you will ever live.

And the thing that makes it so beautiful?

You.

Your journey is exactly what you need to experience. It is what will shape you for the end - the end that never seems come.

Your journey, despite how crazy/awesome it gets, will be worth it. I can’t stress that enough.

Your journey will be worth it! Worth it in ways that mystify you, scare you and make you want to pump your fist in the air with major earth shattering excitement!

I’d like to sum it all up like this...

One time, when my siblings and I were younger, our parents took us to this rope climbing tower. It was a long drive and I don’t remember the circumstances exactly, but I do remember one thing.

How scared I was.

The tower was HUGE. Taller than my dad (which is saying something!). And when you are small and afraid of heights, but more afraid of missing out on experience, what do you do? The wise thing, of course.

You let your younger siblings climb first.

And then you climb.

It was terrifying - if terrifying is enough to express terror and shaky hands gripping what you knew were the flimsiest ropes that they could have used when installing this thing.

If you’re wondering, I did make it to the top. Not because I wanted to, but because my younger sister did and there was no way she could beat me. So naturally, I didn’t relish the view. I may have enjoyed it, but I did not relish in it, as I should have.

Then we went home and time ran its course.

Day by day, week by week, extending into months and years, I grew. I grew into the next moment when my parents said “Let’s go back”.

And I was faced with the fear of that giant rope tower once again.

Imagine it. Pulling up to the park. The doors slamming, the freshness of summer blowing cool air against your arms and legs. Little feet padding over gravel, sidewalk, grass and wood chips. The pause. The tilt of the head to take in the… tower? The thought of, “Did it shrink?” meshed with “Here goes nothing.”

I climbed it.

I climbed that thing and realized two things.


  1. My fears had shrunk with the tower while my surety had grown with my height.
  2. I was afraid of nothing (a common theme in my life).


Shoulders back, hands outstretched, up up up, feet up, arms up, sorta sweaty, but no longer afraid. No longer paralyzed. No longer weighed down. Free. So free. With the wind with the hair in the wind with the puffed out shirt in the wind that’s where it was.

Freedom.

Epic freedom.

That, my dear friend, is why the pain and toil is worth it. That is why the slow method that feels like fire, the constant frustration, the tears, the sweat, the blood - is worth it. Because when you go back to your tower and you find that hey, it doesn’t look so scary anymore - hey, I can climb it - hey, I don’t need the support of anyone but myself this time - HEY I’m at the top and WOW the view up here is incredible - that is what makes it worth it.

You’ll get to the top and you’ll see how all the moments, each and every break down and baby step that sparked the growth of something incredible: a bolder, better you.

And that, my friends, is the marvelous magnificence of growth.

05 March 2016

Why + How I Visualize My Goals

Have you ever - say - had something on you that scared the heeby jeebies out of you? Something you saw out of the corner of your eye, and your brain automatically conjured it to be the worst thing possible? Like when you thought your foaming face soap made your cheeks feel swollen or that fuzzy on your arm was a spider. But your face was fine and you're now constantly rubbing your arms so there are no spiders - you're fine. Briefly uncomfortable because your brain made something up, but you're fine.

What if we could apply this to our lives in a less twisted, much more positive way?

What if we could apply fauxs - safe fauxs - that made us feel how we want to feel? (Confident. Strong. Brave. Enough.) Something that made us feel like we are where we want to be.

Would we live richer, fuller lives? Would faking it till we made it work?

My answer: Yes.

The solution? Read on.



Click here to get your visualization script today!



Why I Visualize My Goals




Well. Here's one reason.

But beside the fact that Jim Carrey did it (and I can too), it's a powerful thing. I remember before dance recitals and performances that my mom guide me through visualizing myself doing the best that I can do. And it worked, my friends. It made me feel more confident when I got on stage.

Visualizing is a safe faux (as I mentioned before) - something we can put into place right now. Something that will actively make us feel better and achieve more as we continue to do it. And how cool is that?

Tweet: It isn't just about feeling better. It's about knowing what we want, and then feeling inspired to actually do it.

How I Visualize My Goals

I make sure to set aside time in the day where I can be comfortable, alone and uninterrupted. For me, this falls to just before bedtime.

I go through my normal before bed routine: journaling about my day, clicking off my bedside lamp and staring at the ceiling as I breathe, making sure to relax as I listen to the house around me. I start off by thanking God for the day I had before going through my goals and positive events, ticking them off one by one. With each goal comes a prayer of thankfulness.

I also have some recordings I listen to as well, that remind me change is safe and essential to life.

You can do it too!

Are you ready to envision yourself embodying success? Click here to sign up and receive your visualization script today!



How do you enforce positive change in your life? :)

13 February 2016

A Love Letter

To my dear, blooming Rose -

Attached to this letter is not only my love, but my gratitude, thankfulness and a small box of decadent dark chocolates. I would've had flowers delivered too, but no measly plant could ever compare or express my feelings toward you.

Ahh, my dear. You are my truest bundle of joy. It does not matter what mood you are in - you light up my day in the most wonderful of ways.

Your smile makes the sun jealous. Your embrace makes me feel full. Your laughter - so thick and loud - makes me want to laugh too.

What I love most is when you are truly and purely being yourself - because that's who you're meant to be.

With much love and kisses blown with a wink,
Your Secret Admirer

PS: Maybe we could share those chocolates later, eh?


+ + +

When you need some uplifting, write yourself a love letter. Be silly and positive. Analyze yourself. Amp up your best qualities. De-sock your feet as you write and wiggle your toes as your write (then put your socks back on because gosh it's cold). Get a big thick blanket and curl up under with a flashlight. Laugh at yourself - have fun.



Once your letter is done, seal it up in an envelope or just crumple it up and place it on your desk. No matter how "bad" you think it is, DO NOT throw it away. Open it up and read it as many times as you need, whenever your feel like it. Remember how you felt when you were writing it. Acknowledge how in love with yourself you are - or would like to be.

Will you write a love letter to yourself today?

This post was inspired by the wonderful SARK, who is always so full of creative ideas and heart-melting realness.


xx Nicole Rose

06 February 2016

How to Begin Your Self-Love Journey This Year

When I originally had the idea for this piece of writing I’m about to share with you, I was in a place of transition. I didn’t know my place in the world, I didn’t know if I was worth it and I certainly didn’t feel like I could love myself. Here I am almost a year later, an example of how this works - if you choose to put it into practice. You can improve and learn to love yourself. You can take the steps that bring you into a better place.

I won’t say it was easy and I certainly won’t say I had overnight success, but when you learn to fight your battles one at a time, you’ll be able to look back and see how far you’ve come.

Are you ready to take the first step?



Self Love: Step one

I have always been a timid person. I’ve always had trouble keeping the standards I have for myself something below what I deem “perfect”. I enjoy discipline and when I don’t know what to do or my world is shaken, I’m hard on myself.

That’s just who I am.

With that said, I've always felt like I was not allowed to love myself. I felt like saying I was cool or awesome was for some silly reason. Forbidden. I thought people would shun me if I voiced fondness toward myself. This, I think, led me to the course of thinking well, maybe I'm not as great as I originally thought. Maybe I'm annoying... Or weird... Maybe I'm not-- And so on.

I am now eighteen years old and I've changed my view on this completely.

Click to Tweet: “Dare to love yourself as if you were a rainbow with gold at both ends.” - Aberjhani

Self love is a rare gift, especially in its purest state. It’s not something that comes off as “Oh, look at me! Look at how loveable I am!” No. Just no. Self love when you make a mistake and instead of bashing yourself and lowering your own self-worth, you hold your chin up and say, “Hey, it’s okay. I made a mistake and proved I was human again. No biggy. Let’s learn from this and move on.”

Self love isn’t narcissistic. It’s something we’re entitled to. You hear that?

WE ARE ALL ENTITLED TO SELF LOVE!


If you take a moment and vow to be a little more forgiving, a little less harsh on yourself, don’t you think that it would take an unneeded weight off your shoulders? I urge you to allow yourself to love yourSELF. You are a great, amazing, fantastic human being! You’re breathing! You’re full of hidden talents others will be delighted to see! You’re the only you this world will ever come to know, and as soon as you realize that... gosh, things will start feel so much better. I can guarantee that.

“But... How do I love myself?”


Take the first step. Start with a simple hug. Wrap your arms around yourself, give your torso a tight squeeze. Rub your sides and smile. Kiss your shoulders and spin around. Keep doing this. Do it every day. Remind yourself to let down your stubborn walls and silence your inner critics so that you can live the life you deserve.

Self Love: Step two

To my dear, blooming Rose -

Attached to this letter is not only my love, but my gratitude, thankfulness and a small box of decadent dark chocolates (your favorite kind). I would've had flowers delivered too, but no measly plant could ever compare or express my feelings toward you.

Ahh, my dear. You are my truest bundle of joy. It does not matter what mood you are in - you light up my day in the most wonderful of ways.

Your smile makes the sun jealous. Your embrace makes me feel full. Your laughter - so thick and loud - makes me laugh too.

What I love most is when you are truly and purely being yourself - because that's who you're meant to be.

With much love and kisses blown with a wink,

Your Secret Admirer

PS: Maybe we could share those chocolates later, eh?

+ + +


What is a great exercise for getting the self love flowing? Taking the time to write yourself a love letter.

How to write a love letter (to yourself)

  1. Be silly and positive.
  2. Analyze yourself.
  3. Amp up your best qualities.
  4. De-sock your feet as you write and wiggle your toes as your write.
  5. Get a big thick blanket and curl up under with a flashlight.
  6. Laugh at yourself.
  7. Poetry works. Like, really sappy, intense, rhymes flying everywhere poetry.
  8. Have fun.

Once your letter is done, seal it up in an envelope or just crumple it up and place it on your desk. No matter how bad, silly or weird you think it is, DO NOT throw it away. Open it up and read it as many times as you need. Remember how you felt when you were writing it. Let new feelings develop as you read it again.

TODAY’S ACTION STEPS:

  1. Stand up and hug yourself. Right now.
  2. Sit back down and take five minutes or more to write a love letter to yourself.

Also, make sure to use those share buttons below and send this out to a friend you know needs a little bit of lovin’. :)

Remember to take care and love yo’self. <3

27 December 2015

Give me 4 weeks and I'll improve your creativity

Give me 4 weeks and I'll improve your creativity | Self Known | Calling all creatives, doers, and game changers - this is THE resource for you. Give me less than a month of your time and I'll improve your creativity - for free. Click through to learn more.

Another year is coming to a close and you still haven't completed half your goals.


You didn't finish writing your book.

You didn't get published in a magazine or have your art displayed in a huge gallery.

You didn't travel to Colorado, make money from your blog or start a profitable Etsy shop.

All you wanted to do was create, invent, inspire. You wanted to express, push past your creative blocks and finally finish that darn project (or least one of your darn projects).

You wanted to grow.


My dear reader, the day has finally come to for your to step up to the plate. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is this:

Give me 4 weeks and I'll improve your creativity.


That's four emails over the course of four weeks, jam packed with lots of inspiring advice and helpful, actionable tips.


What do you have to do? Easy: Sign up to receive my FREE newsletter.


You finally have the chance to make something change - now take this leap of faith and do it! How is signing up for an informative newsletter run by a creative like you going to hurt you?


Well...


ADVANTAGES

- You improve your creative life in four weeks (or less).
- You improve your self-love, productivity and time-management too.
- You get great advice for free.
- You get warm fuzzy feelings every time you see an email from me.
- You earn a life long friend.


DISADVANTAGES

- You waste ten minutes of your weekend reading some newsletter that just wasn't for you.


See? Not that bad, eh?

And the best part? If you like the first four weeks, you can continue to receive the newsletter for the rest of the year! (And YES, it will still be free!) Gosh, it could get much better than that, could it?

(Besides the fact that you get access to my free resource library that includes printables, workbooks and sooo much more.)
​​

Again, here's the link to the sign up page.​​



Please share this along to your friends, followers and family - they won't want to miss out on this!

What are you NOT going to let stop you from completing your goals this year?

26 June 2015

37 Inspiring Sites (and counting)

This list includes sites that create web designs or just have an inspiring design (but don't offer services). Have fun looking through this list and being wowed by all the talented people out there.

If you have any sites to add, comment below so I can update my list. :)​



Inspiring Web Designs

+ Elembee
+ Kelly Christine Studio
+ Mlekoshi Playground
+ Berry Vary
+ Moritz
+ Sullivan and 3rd
+ Two Thirds Hazel Design
+ Noor
+ Wink & Wonder
+ Envye
​+ The Blog Boat​
+ Clarke Creative
+ BRNDWCH
+ Maira Gall
+ Love Taza
+ J.Lynn Designery
+ Don't Tell Anyone
+ Love + Color
+ Catherine grace / blog
+ Rekita Nicole
+ The Nectar Collective
+ Nesha Designs
+ Allyssa Barnes
+ Katelyn Brooke Designs
+ Rachel Nicole Designs
+ Hannah Rose Beasley
+ Designer Blogs
+ Salted Ink
+ Made With Lof
+ Rowan Made
+ Mango Blogs
+ Go Live HQ
+ NA
+ Kory Woodward
+ Oak and Oats
+ Let Birds Fly
+ Second Street Creative
+ Icey Designs
+ Stay Bookish
+ Anjelica Design
+ Angie Makes Pretty
+ Ready to Blog

What are your favorite inspiring sites?

10 February 2015

It's Brainstorming Time

I've been sitting here for a couple of hours allowing myself to get distracted by YouTube while my inner conscience keeps saying "Rose, you should be writing blog posts". But I've looked through my list of ideas and many  partially started drafts, but nothing seems to be speaking to me. So I decided, why not have a brainstorming session and post about that?

Genius, no?

Here are a few brainstorming techniques I use when I'm stuck in a rut.


1. Listing


Whip out a piece of paper and write a word (preferably one that's related to your blog's niche). What does that word make you think of? Write that down. What does the next word make you think of? Write that down. And so on and so forth. No matter what, don't stop. Keep going until you find a word/topic you'd like to write about. :)

Here's my list:

+ writing
+ journaling
+ daily
+ experiences
+ emotions
+ memories
+ happy
+ smiling
+ laughing
+ joyful
+ playful

2. Visualizing


I'm a very visual person who happens to own several social media accounts that have photos with the potential to inspire me. I use them. And you should too. Scroll through your Pinterest, Tumblr, We Heart It, or even Instagram feed to gather ideas. I find this especially helpful when I want to write something very visual for a book scene I'm working on, but don't feel like I have the right details in mind. :)

Take a look at my photographic inspiration board on Pinterest if you're in search of inspiration.

Follow Nicole Rose's board p h o t o g r a p h i c i n s p i r a t i o n . on Pinterest.

3. Questioning


Look at the world around you and ask questions. Change your perspective. Hang upside down. Close your eyes and breathe. Leave the house, take a walk. Use a new approach.

"Why is the sky blue?"
"Where do the birds go when it's cold?"
"Is our earth really round?"
"How is glitter made?"

Et cetera, et cetera.

Write down your questions and discoveries to get yourself thinking as you search for answers.

4. Mapping


Create a word map. Start with a central idea (for example we'll use blogging) then have several related topics branching off from it. From each of those topics, add a few sub specific sub topics. Here's a graphic presentation:



And there you have it. Four unique brainstorming techniques. Comment below which one is your favorite.

If you need more help finding your muse, check out my post, 7 Ways To Seek & Find Your Inspiration. :)

What has your brain stormed today?


Thanks for reading!

xx Nicole Rose

06 January 2015

Don't Let Them Influence You.


On the Saturday before Christmas, I went to the mall with my sister to meet some fellow 5SOS fans (WHOOT WHOOT). I'm going to be bluntly honest and I say it was the worst idea ever. I'll spare you the details of our downhill spiral, because that's not what this post is about. This post is about a conversation I had with one of the girls.

Her name (for privacy purposes we'll say) was Allison and she was 13 years old. She was short and round and absolutely adorable. She didn't say much, and at first I thought maybe she doesn't like strangers - or perhaps she didn't like anyone at all. But we ended up in the back of the group, kind of trailing behind the other girls and listening to them talk about Micheal Clifford's hair and converse with strangers as they passed out flyers for the new LIVESOS album. I made a comment about being left behind which broke the ice. I connected with this girl in the most magnificent of ways. Why? Because of what she said.

"If I said anything, people would hate me."

As she said that I looked at the group of girls hobbling and chatting in front of us. I let my eyes linger on the big tree we all seemed to stop before and I replied with: "I know, right?"

Our exchanges were short, full of teenage slang and clipped words. As I tried to break away from that, so that I could be eloquent and voice to her that her opinion mattered, it quite frankly came out like this: "So, I mean, screw other people because, who cares right? Well I care, so... yeah. Don't care."

Thinking back I know I could've said something way prettier and like, ten times more inspiring, but it doesn't matter. Allison's words opened up my eyes and allowed me to see who she was. A blossoming teen girl scared to voice her opinion - and be herself. She reminded me of how I was at that age and how I am now.

What I want you to take away from this is that 1). you are not alone. No matter what you're going through, no matter how hard, weird, or bizarre your situation is, someone else is going through the same thing. Someone out there understands. And 2). don't be afraid of what other people will do if you try to be yourself. In reality, we're all struggling with something. We all have to overcome something (or there wouldn't be any point to living life). So don't be scared. Don't hold back. Tug away your bindings, dear soul, and set yourself free. Be who you are meant to be because this world needs you to contribute, create and express.

Let's start a discussion in the comments. I want to hear what you guys have to add. :)

Are you afraid to be yourself? Why?


xx Nicole Rose

20 December 2013

what's black, white, and read all over?



Inspirational nothings, my dear friends. Inspiration itself is nothing but what clicks in one's brain. If it clicks with them it may not click with you. But when inspiration comes it's like a tidal wave full of shining possibilities that won't end until your brain storming comes to a halt. Even as it stops, it's churning, still thinking, building up like music into this crescendo of what eventually evolves into your burst of creativity. It's like a cycle.

Everything in life is like a cycle.

thanks for reading. <3
xx Nicole Rose

22 May 2013

Inspiration.

in·spi·ra·tion

/ˌinspəˈrāSHən/

Noun

1. The process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, esp. to do something creative: "flashes of inspiration".

2. The quality of having been so stimulated, esp. when evident in something: "a moment of inspiration in an otherwise dull display".




Inspiration helps me write blog posts.
Well, it help me write in general.
Inspiration is this wonderful sensation I get in the pit of my stomach.
It's a nagging feeling that tells me I could do or make something creative, maybe even something that's beautiful.
I try to act on that feeling.
I try to do something inspiring.
I try to give back.

What about you?
What's your inspiration?

inspire me || do something creative

thank you for reading. <3
xoxo,
Rose

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