January 15 2018

Coffee Chat Monday: My Word of the Year

B6 Leather Quill Shoppe TN with “be brave” charm

If we were having coffee I’d tell you about how this is my third year choosing a word for the year to focus on throughout the year. The first year I chose the word positive. Last year I chose the word thrive. But this year the word choose me. That first year I started out really strong. I added quotes about staying positive, the glass half full, being mindful, and anything that might be related to being positive. The more I used the word or a related word the more mindful I was. By the end of the year, I realized it was all about being more intentional. When I slacked off and didn’t write down the word, a quote, was mindful in my everyday life about being positive, staying positive, finding something positive in even the darkest of days/times/events/etc, then the negative things like self doubt, fear, anxiety, etc. would creep back in.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s been a few years since I chose the word positive and yet there are times when I still have moments of self doubt, fear, anxiety, but I’m a much more positive person now. I look at the glass as refillable–to me it’s not about whether or not it’s half full or half empty, but that it’s refillable that matters (especially when it comes to my cup of coffee or my glass of ice water on a hot summer day here in humid South Carolina).

That first year there were times when I forgot my word. Yep, that’s right. When I was so focused on manifesting positivism in my life that I forgot it was because it was my word of the year… being mindful of the positive things, changing my attitude and being intentional about the “refillable glass” became a habit. I’d never really been a “negative Nancy” but there were too many instances when I’d let my anxiety rule and I’d focused on the negative instead of the positive. Last year I thrived in some ways, but in other ways I slacked off. And the majority of the reasons I slacked off had to do with procrastination, fear, doubts, anxiety–not being brave enough to do things, to try things, to get out there and reach for the stars. Continue reading

November 13 2017

How to Get Back into your Creative Life After a Break

Life Happens

We all have things that happen to us that slow our creativity down, or that put a halt to our creativity. I fell behind in my journaling, planning, and overall creative “things,” back in July when my Dad was diagnosed with Stage 4 aggressive cancer (chemo wouldn’t help and surgery wasn’t an option–so it was just a matter of quality of life during the time he had left), and Mr. Rockstar was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. I tried to stay creative. I tried to journal. To Plan. To finish out #onebookjuly2017 and #campnanowrimo. But my emotions, thoughts…my mental state was all over the place. Insert Anxiety, Depression, and ADHD, along with the roller coaster of emotions that come with finding out your Dad has inoperable and non-treatable stage 4 cancer, and your husband has a disease that isn’t curable either–I was a wreck!

Still, I tried to maintain some sort of routine, some sort of balance. I tried to be creative. And someday’s I managed to journal, plan, write, art… Other days–I barely seemed to function. The worse my Dad got the worse my emotional state became. My emotions were all over the place. I started grieving well before my Dad died on October 5th. But his death, and my Mom’s subsequent hospitalization (she was admitted into the very same ICU ward as my Dad–within an hour or so of his death she was up there a few rooms down from where he was (he was still in the room, they were kind enough to allow my Mom to say goodbye, for all of us to say goodbye). The doctor’s and nurses all knew who I was–first time they’d had that happen, and they were absolutely wonderful to us.

Fast forward a week, my Mom was in the hospital 8 nights and 9 days. So I was at the hospital for approximately 10 days, because I’d been there the night before when my Dad was helicoptered from their local hospital to the one in Charleston to ICU. By the time my Mom was released I’d already taken care of my Dad’s cremation, and a lot of paperwork for things like insurance, etc. I was on the ball in regards to taking care of my Mom. I was not, however, doing very well in the taking time to grieve for my Dad, taking care of myself (not really), much less housework, planning, journaling, filming videos for Patreon or YouTube, etc. I did manage to do a few loads of laundry somewhere in there so I had some clean clothes to wear when I went back to the hospital (my husband convinced me to go home with him to take a shower and get some sleep–I hadn’t slept but about 3 hours in about 3 days). (I’m sure I was in definite need of a shower by then.) Continue reading

May 22 2017

Embrace your Creativity

Creativity is defined as:

  1.  the quality of being creative
  2.   the ability to create her artistic creativity(Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary). 
Hand Lettered Creativity Quote

Creativity is, according to Creativity at Work,  “characterized by the ability to perceive the world in new ways, to find hidden patterns, to make connections between seemingly unrelated phenomena, and to generate solutions. Creativity involves two processes: thinking, then producing.”  But when I think of creativity I think of all kinds of things. Things like one moment you’re in the shower and out of nowhere an idea for your next book hits you like a ton of bricks. Or you’re sitting at your desk, dining room table, craft table, or the living room floor coloring with your grandson and you realize he has the right idea… he knows exactly what he’s doing… he’s not second guessing himself, the colors he’s using, whether or not he’s coloring inside or outside of the lines… he’s just doing it. And when he’s done, “Mimi it’s the best…” and I’m not sure if he’s asking me or telling me but he’s right… It’s the best. It’s the best moment. It’s the best picture. He used the best colors. It’s just the best, and so is he. We could all learn a thing or two from children and pets…. I’m embracing my inner five year old. That’s the way to creativity. That’s how I’ve learned to fully embrace my creativity–best lesson I could have learned and I learned it from my almost five year old grandson.

For the past seven months or more I’ve struggled with the idea, with accepting fully the idea and the fact that I am now working in a creative job… that what I do (the art, the journals, writing, Patreon, YT (in a way), blogging (that’s something I’m working at more and more each week)… that being a creative isn’t something I just am, it’s what I do, and that utilizing my creativity in different ways is my job, helping others to be creative is my job. sharing creativity is my job… (I’m sure you get the picture by now). Truth is, I’m doing something I love. I’m creating every single day. Maybe it’s a picture I took, or a picture I drew, maybe it’s a paragraph you wrote. Maybe it’s a video you created. Maybe it’s a piece of music you worked on, or a song you learned. Maybe it’s just that you sat down with your child or grandchild and colored a picture in a coloring book.

Later on, I’m going to do another blog post about creativity. I’ll continue to do them here and there. I’ve talked about comparing yourself to others, self-doubt, procrastination, and a few other things. And each time I do these kinds of posts, via blog or video, it’s usually because I’ve learned something new about myself.

I’d like to make this a bit of a series. Maybe one per month or so.

Here’s the video: (hope you enjoy).