life curation

Feeling Uninspired?

During this time, I’ve seen a myriad of articles (heck, I’ve even written a few posts!) that assume that being in quarantine automatically means that we have both time and inspiration to finally go after the things that light us up. It’s assumed that (prior to COVID-19) the only thing that was missing from our big dreams was the time to pursue them. And, for some of us, that is true.

However, there is a far more insidious culprit that many of us face when it comes to pursuing our dreams. There is a not-so-small group of us that have lots of time due to being quarantined but almost ZERO inspiration. Oh sure, we see something cool and inspiring online, or we get fired up when we listen to our favorite podcasts. But, when it comes to actually implementing our OWN ideas, we find ourselves feeling stuck and not particularly interested in walking that path just yet.

Some of us aren’t feeling very inspired at all.

I have a couple of theories on why that is, and I’ll share those in a moment. But first, let me state that even though I’m currently working on a side project that I adore, I did not feel inspired when quarantines were first implemented. I was still dealing with managing my fibro symptoms (which were intense at the time) and trying to find a compromise between my need to earn a living and my physical limitations. To say that I was uninspired would be an understatement.

But, something changed. My grandmother and her sister began staying with me, so that I could care for them while the world dealt with coronavirus. I found myself hearing stories that I’d heard before, but I was hearing them as an adult, and gleaning new lessons from them. In the midst of these conversations, I found my new inspiration. The unexpected effect has to be the single most motivating thing that has occurred in the past few years.

Now, back to why many of us aren’t motivated. Most of us are TIRED! Think of the intense schedules that most of us had pre-COVID; we needed some time to decompress and finally BREATHE after living hectic lifestyles. At this point, the only thing that can lead us to inspiration is giving ourselves room to rest and just take care of ourselves. If you are taking care of yourself, you are already doing enough. Give yourself credit and don’t worry about “inspiration”: inspiration comes in when you have room for it. It’s difficult to make room when your basic biological needs (like rest) haven’t been properly met for an extended period of time.

Exhaustion can impact our ability to create and be inspired

Another reason why many of us aren’t motivated and inspired is due to the fact that we feel anxious about the current state of the world as well as our personal well-being. This goes back to biological needs (think Maslow’s hierarchy of needs pyramid): security is a basic need. If we don’t feel secure, it can be challenging to ascend to those higher levels of the hierarchal pyramid (which is the space where inspiration usually resides).

Yes, it is possible to be inspired by feelings of insecurity and exhaustion. There have been many products developed out of these emotions, and those products have been wildly successful. But it’s important to note that inspiration – the spark that makes you want to get up and do something incredible every day – doesn’t play well in spaces of insecurity, exhaustion, anger or depression. Not to mention, these emotions tend to deplete your energy, while inspiration tends to fuel it. Basically, the energy of inspiration runs counter to the “lower” feelings that you may experience. I’ve found that I’m more inspired when I’m feeling calm, healthy, and secure. However, that’s been my personal experience: if you’ve experienced something different, then completely disregard when I’ve stated and continue doing what works for you.

So, if you haven’t feel feeling inspired, give yourself a break and a little grace. We’re all doing the best we can. Eventually, our world will return back to the hectic, exhausting place that it was before (albeit with additional safety precautions) and we may not have another opportunity to truly GO SLOWER and take time to appreciate what really matters. So enjoy this time and continue doing your best: that’s inspiring enough.

life curation

Need Help Developing Your Vision for 2019?

Happy Sunday, friends! I spent most of today resting as I’ve had really low energy, but I’m feeling a little refreshed so I wanted to make sure that I get this post done before I get tied up in chores and other activities this evening.

I recently came across a great resource for anyone working on their personal vision statement. You know, having a personal vision statement can do wonders for giving you a “compass” for your behaviors: the right vision statement can help you to stay focused as you work toward accomplishing your goals.

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Kelley Rosano is a coach, astrologer, and author that has developed some great materials to support anyone trying to create a more successful future. Her Personal Vision guide has some great questions to help you reveal what really matters to you and what vision is most aligned with your personal desires, strengths and calling.

I’m working through the questions little by little throughout the next week. I’ve already gained so much clarity from this exercise! I’m glad that I found it before the end of the year. I can’t wait to share my vision statement with you all in a few days.

I advise you to check out the Personal Vision guide as well as the other offerings on her Free Resource page. Also, if you’re interested in her services, you can always contact her directly. I love that she has generously provided so many great materials that can be used to get a head start on a productive and successful year!

That’s all for this Sunday: I’ll catch up with you all tomorrow. Enjoy your evening!

life curation

Finish 2018 on a Strong Note

Hi friends! Can you believe we’re already in the month of NOVEMBER? I know, time flies when you’re having fun!

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With two months left in the year, you probably think that you won’t be able to do anything impactful before the years end. Nothing could be farther from the truth! 60 days is more than enough time to do something that will really help you to finish 2018 on a strong note. If nothing else, you can get a good running start for 2019.

So take out those goals you had for 2018 – you know, the ones that got lost in the sauce sometime in February – and give them a good once-over. See which one would really mean the most to you, and get started on it NOW! If you need an idea for how to get started on your goal, I have a post about one of my sneaky tricks for successful resolutions.

Start by doing something today that will take you five minutes or less (preferably less). Take the action immediately, and you’ll already feel like you’re headed in the right direction. As for me, I’m spending 15 minutes today on my “big goals” – five minute on each of my 3 goals – to get some momentum going. And then I’ll be jumping into my writing, because it’s NaNoWriMo! Check out tomorrow’s post for more about the NaNoWriMo festivities for this year.

Talk to you all tomorrow!

style

The Only Two YouTube Style Gurus That You Need to Know About

Happy Friday, friends! I’ve recently spent a lot of time on YouTube, getting additional style ideas for this fall/winter transition. I have a good sense of the major items that I want to incorporate into my wardrobe, but I love getting additional inspiration so that I can look my best during the cooler months.

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Through the many videos I’ve watched, I’ve learned that there are only two YouTube gurus that I’ve seen who have extremely comprehensive information that can apply to anyone. These YT creators are informative, thorough, and engaging. If you need a basic style education, I recommend these two ladies highly.

Aly Art

Aly is a favorite because her channel explains the Kibbe typing system in detail, and extends the concepts from clothing to hair, makeup and accessories. This Russian cutie makes content that really delves in how style can be used to flatter and enhance our natural attributes. She’s charming and stylish, and I love how her channel makes sure that a wide variety of women are well represented.

One of my favorite Aly Art’s favorite videos is the one about signature looks for the different body types:

 

Justine Leconte

I don’t know if it’s her French sensibility or her actual content that I love more, but I adore Justine. She is a fashion designer so she has a professional background in the style industry, and she, like Aly, has a flair for breaking down fashion concepts for regular folks like us. She covers fashion, color theory, beauty, and cultural concepts on her channel. There’s a lot of good information here, so visit when you have a good amount of time on your hands. Justine also has a website that you can check out here.

This video about planning your capsule wardrobe is great:

These two YouTubers are my go-tos for style information. Listen to these two ladies and you can’t go wrong!

That’s all for today. I look forward to chatting with you all tomorrow. Take care!

words of wisdom

Words of Wisdom: Aretha Franklin

Yesterday, the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, was laid to rest. I’m huge fan of her music, as I found her voice supernatural: listening to Aretha was akin to touching the divine, even if she wasn’t singing a gospel tune. As a music appreciator, I will always treasure the amazing recordings she left us.

I won’t write much, since there are so many of other writers online that are sharing their heartfelt emotion about Ms. Franklin. However, I will share some of my favorite quotes spoken by the Queen. Have a great Saturday.

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(Photos courtesy of Goalcast, LikeQuote and Saying Images)

 

life curation

My Not-So-Secret Tool for Getting Things Done

Happy Wednesday, friends! I wanted to quickly share one of my favorite tools for getting stuff done. I recently started back to using this tool regularly after I discovered that time was “getting away from me” and I wasn’t quite as productive as I’d like.

We’re all so busy that I know you all can relate to the feeling of too much to do and not enough time to do it. I honestly feel that the reason why we feel that we don’t have enough time is that we try to “make stuff happen” even when the best thing to do is to take a hands-off approach and let the chips falls where they may. The harder we push, the more difficult we make things for ourselves.

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So, to help me with this, I reach for the placemat process. The placemat process is a tool described by Abraham Hicks (if you aren’t familiar with Abraham-Hicks, then you probably haven’t gone deep enough down the law of attraction rabbit hole LOL!) that allocates the day’s tasks based on things to do and emotions you want to feel. The day’s tasks are divided into things that you intend to do yourself, things that you intend for the Universe to handle on your behalf, and the way that you want to feel throughout the day. If I do a placemat, I do it as soon as I get to my desk, so that it sets the tone for the day.

For the record, I don’t follow Abraham’s teaching as much as many of my favorite LOA teachers. However, I recognize when there’s a beneficial teaching or tool being described, and the placemat process is one of my favorites. It has been extremely effective in creating more productive days and for helping me stay focused on what I need to do. There’s something gratifying about checking off completed tasks, and being clear on what I’m leaving up to God/Spirit/the Universe/Source really helps me to focus my energy where it is best served.

I use a template provided to me a couple of years ago, but I found a very similar one on this Abraham Hicks downloadable template page. The format that I enjoy most is Eva’s template.

Give this a whirl for a few days and see if you notice that you’re able to get more done. I think you’ll enjoy using it!

life curation · travel

An Abbreviated Travel Itinerary

Happy Thursday, beloveds! I’m enjoying my first full day in Raleigh, NC and, if all goes well, I’ll have a special treat for you all in the next few days. I thought I’d share with you all some of the basic things I consider when planning my travel. I hope it helps you to plan your perfect trip!

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Make a list, check it twice

  • Visit to at least one museum
  • Dine at one of the finest restaurants in the area
  • Dine at a “local favorite” (a restaurant most highly recommended by people living in town)
  • Spend time in a park, at a river or on a trail in the city I’m visiting
  • Shop at a local thrift store
  • View the local monuments and the downtown area
  • Visit a local bookstore

Whenever I plan a trip, I try to include as many of these things as possible. For me, these things comprise an ideal trip: shopping, dining, sightseeing, books, and some time in nature. Every now and then, I can incorporate two or more of these things in one outing (for instance, a visit to a park in the downtown area that’s located a block or two away from the “local favorite” restaurant).

One item that I didn’t list on this sample itinerary that I *hope* you all will include is REST. I can’t begin to describe how hard it is to do all of the fun stuff you’ve planned when you’re exhausted. So make sure that SLEEP is part of your plans, as well!

That’s it for my mini-itinerary. Enjoy your Friday, and I’ll talk to you all tomorrow!

 

 

 

words of wisdom

Words of Wisdom: Judy Garland

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One of my favorite singers of all time was Judy Garland. Like most people, I got my first introduction to Garland when I saw “The Wizard of Oz” but as an adult, I got acquainted with her other songs, as well as her life story.

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This petite powerhouse felt with feeling ugly, awkward, and unloved. She was undoubtedly talented but never happy and secure in who she was. That unhappiness bled through her lyrics, making many of her songs heartbreakingly sad. But there is beauty in everything, including sadness. Even in her most painful songs, there is still so much elegance, warmth, and passion: she took heartbreak and turned it into art.

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Garland had such naturalness when she sang: it was never forced or overwrought. I’m sure it was quite a sight to see her perform live, with such an enormous voice coming out of such a tiny woman (only 4’11”!). Recordings of her voice give me shivers now: can you imagine what it was like to hear her live?

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It’s difficult to listen to her recordings and to not be moved by them. I only wish she could have known how beautiful, special and loved she was. I hear her singing and I wish I could have hugged her and reassured her of her immeasurable value. She deserved better, and her tragic death at the age of 47 is a reminder to continue to love and affirm those around us.

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Judy Garland had some poignant musings, and I’m honored to share a few of them with you all today. I hope that Judy’s words move and inspire you. Take care, and talk to you all tomorrow.

(photos courtesy Pinterest, StatusMind, AZQuotes and QuotePrism)

words of wisdom

Words of Wisdom: Octavia Butler

Tell stories filled with facts. Make people touch and taste and know. Make people FEEL! FEEL! FEEL!

I’m really surprised that I hadn’t written about this incredible author before, especially since she is one of my main inspirations when it comes to my writing. I haven’t tried my hand at science fiction/fantasy, but reading Octavia Butler’s work always makes me want to give it a whirl.

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Butler willed her success into existence. Some of her papers show the affirmations that she wrote, encouraging herself along the way. While working an assortment of temporary jobs, she would wake up early to write. Her writing effortlessly weaves fantasy with contemporary issues like politics and power struggles around age-old dividers such as race, gender and sexual relationships. Her characters – multidimensional and transcendent – stay with you long after you finish her books.

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I’ve read several of her stories, starting with Mind of My Mind though, knowing what I know now, I would have started with Wild Seed, my favorite book by Butler. Wild Seed¬†is an origin story, which describes the long history between Doro and Anyanwu. This story sets the scene for the subsequent novels. These two powerful beings struggle with one another through centuries, until they have a final showdown that end their tug-of-war.

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I love how Wild Seed takes readers through Anyanwu’s growth into an empowered woman. I love reading about Doro’s calculated nature and how everything he does is part of his master plan. And most of all, I love how well-developed the characters are and how they navigate their dysfunctional symbiotic relationship. I found myself questioning my own journey to empowerment and self actualization while reading¬†Wild Seed.

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On today, which would have been Butler’s 71st birthday, I’m sharing a few of my favorite quotes. I hope you enjoy!

 

(Photos courtesy of BlackMattersUs, JenebaSpeaks, Pinterest and ForReadingAddicts.co.uk)

words of wisdom

Words of Wisdom: Toni Morrison

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What would literature be without Toni Morrison? Her poignant stories seamlessly weave the past with the present, the natural with the supernatural, the sacrosanct with the profane. I’ve found myself going back to “Sula” and “The Bluest Eye” to reread certain passages and become once again swept up in Morrison’s moving language.

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Morrison has published 11 novels, and I fully intend to read them all. Every page is full of vivid imagery and powerful dialogue. One doesn’t read Toni Morrison’s books: one becomes part of Morrison’s world.

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There’s a lot to love about Morrison. She wrote “The Bluest Eye” while raising two children post divorce. She published “The Bluest Eye” at the tender age of 39. She had to wake up at 4 AM to do her writing, but she got it done, and her efforts paid off.

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She speaks candidly about the importance of writing and why we must tell our stories. She shares profundities on life and love. And she tempers all of her works with humor, grace and timeless charm.

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I could sing Morrison’s praises forever and it wouldn’t be enough. So let me just say, if you are so inclined, make sure to read one of her books. I suggest you start off with “The Bluest Eye”: after all, it was her first book! Then move on to “Sula” and think about your closest friend: it will make you want to reach out to him/her and hold them close. Read some of her work and just watch your soul grow: it’s inevitable.

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Thanks for stopping by, and enjoy the rest of your day! I’ll chat with you all tomorrow.

(Photos courtesy of Pinterest, TheQuotesIn, QuotesFav, Goalcast, and LegendsQuotes)