life curation

Making Space Challenge Updates

It’s been a few weeks since my last update on my Making Space challenge. So, here ya go!

I’m continuing to pare down my belongings and make room. I have a mini-project ahead of me that I’ll be working on for the next week or so. I have to store my porcelain doll collection to clear out my living room and make space for new decor. I’ll be boxing up my dolls (after I clean them and wrap them in acid free paper) and that will take a bit of time to do properly. I’ve already gotten my wrapping paper and I’ll be ordering my compressed air (for blowing out the dust that may have settled on the dolls) later today. I’m aiming to pack two dolls a day starting on Monday. That should translate to me being done in a little under 3 weeks.

doll

Not my doll, but isn’t she cute?

I also switched my wardrobe over from summer clothes to winter clothes a couple of weeks ago. Now that all of those clothes are hanging or folded in my dresser drawers, I can look at the items, one by one, and see which items fit my current style preferences. When I first switched the clothes over, I only saw one or two pieces that I felt needed to be retired (those went promptly into a charity giveaway bag). However, I can apply a more critical eye over the next few weeks, especially during my long holiday weekends (since I have a few coming up).

As far as “making space” internally, I’ve been happily saying “no” to anything that doesn’t bring me delight. This has been surprising for people in my life that are used to me saying “yes” without question, but by opting out of different obligations, I’ve had more time to care for myself and reserve my energy for the things that really matter. That has done a world of good for improving my low mood over the past few weeks.

Intentionally making space has been a good idea for another reason: I have to upgrade some things in my life and by getting rid of the things that don’t serve me, I have more time and other resources to devote to getting the things that will serve me best right now. This has been a great decision: I’m glad I did it! I love the changes that have come from choosing to #makespace!

life curation

NaNoWriMo Week 2 – Updates

Happy Thursday, friends! I’ve completed my first two weeks of NaNoWriMo and I’m excited that I’ve been writing (basically) every day since the challenge started.

I’m at 15,000 words now, which means I have only 15 days to write another 35,000 words (whew, I’m tired just thinking about it!) But I’m committed to seeing this challenge through. I’ve got a few more days off during the next two weeks and I’ll focus on doing large chunks of writing during those days. My story is moving along nicely, though I’m not taking much time to reread – and not time to revise – as I write.

writing

I’ve found it helpful to write without doing any editing. You end up losing a lot of time because your brain “shifts gears” and you lose your momentum if you try to write and edit simultaneously. Unfortunately, the finished product ends up being quite “rough”, but it is a rough draft, after all. If it doesn’t come out as clean as you’d like, you can always edit, edit, edit it until it’s perfect. That’s what I always end up doing, and that’s what will happen with this book, as well.

So I’ll be putting my head down and focusing on getting all of my writing done over the next several days. Can I reach 50,000 words by November 30th? I think so. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

life curation

Winter Socializing: My Game Plan

Happy Hump Day! I’m already looking forward to the weekend, but I’m two days away and trying to make the best of it. As the days get shorter and the air gets cooler, I’m considering what my social calendar will look like. I hate having to go outside during the winter so any social events I attend must be pretty special in order for me to participate.

party

My ideal calendar for December 2018 to March 2019 would involve the following:

  • A monthly art event
  • One wine event during the season
  • Two or three workshops (less than 3 hours long each)
  • One long workshop (more than 3 hours)
  • Biweekly dinners with friends
  • One date per week

I’m an introvert, so this schedule is ambitious for me. In fact, there’s a good chance I could line up my calendar to include everything I’ve written above and I still may end up flaking simply because I don’t have the energy. But what I’m learning is that it’s really important for me to set social goals, much like I set career, education, health and financial goals. Social goals can really help me with managing the emotional lows that I tend to experience during this time of the year.

As much as I love to isolate myself, I really benefit from interacting with others in small doses. If I don’t overdo it, being around others tends to lift my spirits and give me some energy. So I’m going to spend some time today figuring out which events to add to my calendar. And, once I have those all lined up, you can look forward to some reviews and discussions regarding the stuff that I’m doing as I ride out this fall and winter. Wish me luck!

life curation

Listening to My Creative Cycles

Happy Sunday, friends! I had been experiencing some emotional lows over the past few weeks and I recently came across an article that really put things into perspective for me.

Over on Affirming Spirit (a website created by teacher, artist and Law of Attraction guru Nancy Barry-Jansson) I read a post about entrepreneurs are more effective when they work with their natural creativity cycles. As I read it, I had a “lightbulb” moment: I’ve been resisting a natural cycle!

creative.jpg

Embrace each phase of the creative cycle

According to Nancy, there are four stages to the creative cycle: gestation, inspiration, creation/birth, and renewal/rest. You see, I am constantly in “create” mode. I love creative expression and didn’t think that I needed a “rest” from it because I loved it so much. I know the importance of recharging but I never paid attention to how I needed it for my current creative endeavors.

I also don’t allow enough time for the other stages: I tend to want to fast-forward from gestation to creation without allowing enough time for inspiration to come in and guide me. This disorderly way of going about things is part of the reason why I had been feeling out of sorts lately. Yes, I’m sure there are other things at play, but this part can’t be ignored.

So, even though I’m committed to completing my NaNoWriMo project, I will be incorporating a lot more rest into my routine. I’m also going to stop “rushing” through the phases of the cycle so I can have an energizing and satisfying creative experience. This will require some changes on my part, but I think it’s worth it.

That’s all for today. Take some time to get familiar with your creative cycle and learn to respect the phases for the best results. I’ll talk to you all tomorrow!

life curation

NaNoWriMo 2018 Week 1 – Updates, What’s Working for Me

I’ve got NaNoWriMo updates, everybody! I have 7,000 words written so far. Only 43,000 more to go! Considering that averages out to 1k words per day, I’m feeling pretty good about my numbers so far. I’ll be writing a lot more over the next few days since I anticipate having some more downtime (not to mention I’ll have to make up for a few days where I won’t be able to do much writing at all).

writing

I just want to share a bit of what I’ve used this first week to help me make progress on my writing goal. What I’ve found it helpful is to set aside 15 minute chunks of time to write. Of course, I always end up writing for longer than 15 minutes, but at least if I set aside the time, it’s more likely that I will not only write for that time but I will also write even longer than I originally planned.

I also find that I’m challenging myself to see how many words I can write in 15 minutes. I’m seeing that it’s normal to get at least 300-400 words written in 15 minutes (if I haven’t thought out what I want to write before I sit down). However, if I have a good idea of where I want my story to go and what dialogue I want to capture, I can easily squeeze out 500 words in 15 minutes (full disclosure: I type at about 75 or 80-ish words per minute, so that helps). I’m trying to get my words up to 700 in 15 minutes: imagine how many pages I could cover if I committed to 1 hour a day at 2800 words in an hour! I know, that’s pretty ambitious (even for me) but I like thinking about the possibility.

Finally, I’ve been writing my story slightly out of sequence. I started writing the beginning, but then I jumped and started writing the last couple of chapters. That made it easier for me to stay interested in this book idea, which goes a long way in making sure that I actually finish it!

Those are all of my NaNoWriMo 2018 updates for this first week. So far, things have been going well and I’m looking forward to telling you all about my progress next week, as I think I’ll be doing this each week until the end of the month.

Alright friends: it’s time for me to get back to writing. I’ll talk to you all tomorrow!

life curation

Managing Recurring Lows

As a student of Law of Attraction (LOA), I know that what we focus on expands. So I was dismayed when I noticed that I was feeling blue for longer than a day or so. I recognized a pattern of sad feelings during this time of the year. I experienced some major losses during the fall season several years ago, and I’ve continued to experience some anxiety, sadness and grief during this season.

rest

It did not help that¬†¬†I was having interaction with someone that didn’t generate the best feelings in me. That person is currently in “neutral”: not a factor in any sadness but not a factor in any joy, either.

I know that this time of year leaves me vulnerable to low emotions, so I’m starting to up my self care: indulging in a good cry if I need it, employing tools from my self care kit, resting as I see fit, etc.,. I have even added a therapist to my arsenal, so that I can continue making progress in managing these emotional lows.

I’m sharing this with you all in the hopes that you will continue to take good care of yourselves and not ignore the signs if you are feeling less than stellar. Your body and mind must be cared for: don’t neglect this. You’re special and precious so remember to take care of YOU.

Talk to you all tomorrow.

art · life curation

Art is a Healer (I Knew It Already)

There’s nothing like confirmation. There’s a sweet satisfaction that comes from having someone state what you’ve known all along: it’s good to know that your thinking is accurate.

Recently, I came across an article that describes how some physicians in Canada are prescribing trips to the art museum to their patients. There are therapeutic benefits associated with spending time observing and appreciating art.

Untitled design - Edited (2)

Well, as you all know, I wrote about how I healed during my divorce by regularly visiting art museums. My time in museums helped tremendously with my self care and was one of the greatest keys in lifting my mood during the darkest period of my life. There was something so comforting about walking in those pristine and taking in all of the beauty that had been created years prior.

The article also talks about doctors prescribing time in nature to patients, as well. Yup, that’s another thing I used while I was on my self-care journey. All of these things contributed to getting me back into a state of wellness.

Well, that’s it for today. Just came in for a quick gloating session – I kid, I kid! I hope you all are enjoying your Saturday! Take care, and talk to you all tomorrow.