Creative Living

Soaking Up Your Travel Experience: 5 Ways to Stay in the Moment
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Soaking Up Your Travel Experience: 5 Ways to Stay in the Moment

This past weekend I took a mini-vacation to Newport Beach (about an hour and a half from where I am in LA) and it was much, much needed. It was nice to be so close to home, yet far enough away to feel like I get to explore somewhere new.

Over Thanksgiving just a few days ago, my family and I were talking about how people don’t take the time to be fully present in the experiences they’re in. All too often we see the person in front of us at a concert who won’t put their phone down and just listen. Just take in the moment that they’re in. Taking this little “staycation” was a little reminder to soak up my experiences, even if I’m close to home.

Soaking up Your Travel Experience: 5 Ways to Stay in the Moment

It doesn’t have to be an international vacation to make you stop and notice how great life is. Soak up your friends, the laughter, the music, the sunshine, whatever it is just soak it up.

Here are 5 ways you can stay in the moment and take time to be grateful for this life we have.

  1. Plan ahead. I thought about this and it could go either way. Maybe staying spontaneous makes you feel more free, but my thought is that if you plan ahead you won’t have a need to be on your phone. Let’s face it, we use our phones for everything. We Yelp the best nearby restaurants, we Waze our routes, we Google what to do, etc. Planning ahead could keep your phone in your pocket a little longer.
  2. Put your phone away. You probably saw this one coming. I’m a fan of capturing the moment don’t get me wrong! But snap a picture at the beginning of dinner (or at the end) or get a quick photo of that beautiful sunset and then just take time to actually enjoy it. Just like the concert thing I mentioned above, we get so concerned with showing everyone that we’re watching an amazing sunset, before we know it the sun has set and we can’t recall any of the details.
  3. Inhale positivity, exhale negativity. Focus on the present instead of worrying about the future. Have you ever been somewhere trying to relax and you keep thinking about your to-do list? Or stressing over something that doesn’t matter? I do that a lot. When I’m trying to be in the moment, I have to just take a deep breathe and not care. If it won’t matter in the next 5 years, don’t spend 5 minutes of your life thinking about it.
  4. I know I said plan ahead…but to a certain extent. I’ve found one of the best ways to truly be in the moment and soak up my travel experience is to get lost with the people I’m with doing something really fun and having a great time. Just like when you get lost creating something you love, or how I get lost writing something I get into that flow state and lose track of time. You can still plan ahead what you’ll do but no one needs an itinerary.
  5. Be open to exploration. Not only within the environment you’re in depending where you’ve traveled to, but be open to discovering a side of yourself you didn’t know existed or to doing something you didn’t think you’d want to do. Don’t force anything, but if you have the urge to do zip-lining and it’s available, why not! There’s nothing that forces you into the moment than doing something that scares you just a little.
  6. Okay here’s a bonus one: stop and take it in. An exercise I’ve done for writing in the past is to take a walk up the street and write down every single sound you hear. What’s crazy is you don’t realize all the individual sounds until you list them. The birds chirping, your shoes on the pavement, the leaves in the trees, cars driving down the street, dogs barking in the distance, you get the idea! Try doing this mentally on your next trip. Just stop and list everything you see and hear. It might sound weird but this truly gets you in the moment and I guarantee you’ll be able to go back to that moment in your mind because you were so present and mindful.

What do you find are the best ways to stay present? Tell me in the comments below!

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Fall Reading List: 6 Books to Read for Every Mood You’re In

You all know I love writing and journaling but I’m a book nerd too! Every morning and night I get some reading in, even if it’s only a few pages. This is more a dream fall reading list of all the books I wish I had time to read more than a definitive MUST READ during October and November. I thought I would start making reading lists every season because I discover so many amazing authors and books I want to read every week it’s hard to keep up with it all. While I know I won’t get to this whole list during the fall months alone, I hope I can read them all eventually!

  1. When you feel like rooting for someone:

    The Nightingale by Kristen Hannah. This novel has been on my reading list for a while and I physically have the book, but have yet to dive into it. I’ve heard so many amazing things about this book. It sounds like a real page-turner and I already know I’ll be so invested in these characters and can’t wait to find out what happens!

To sum it up: “It tells the story of two sisters in France on the eve of World War II, and their struggle to survive and resist the German occupation of France.”

  1. When you feel like organizing your life and getting rid of the noise (inside and out):

    The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. The first time this book got put onto my mental must-read list, I heard about it on a podcast. It goes SO much deeper than just cleaning out your closet and really gets down to the nitty gritty. The podcast I listened to also talked about how it explained a little bit of why we hold onto things or people.

To sum it up: “With detailed guidance for every type of item in the household, this quirky little manual from Japan’s newest lifestyle phenomenon will help readers clear their clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home–and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire.”

  1. When you’re in that marketing mood:

    The 10X Rule by Grant Cardone. I should probably make an entire list on marketing books to read because I have looooong list but this is definitely at the top. I am always looking to better myself and my business and reading books like this if anything give me a different perspective. I love knowing what makes people tick, what has made their businesses successful, and the journey they took to get there so this book is right up my alley.

To sum it up:  “To reach the next level, you must understand the coveted 4th degree of action. This 4th degree, also know as the 10 X Rule, is that level of action that guarantees companies and individuals realize their goals and dreams.”

  1. When you’re still in that marketing mood:

    Your Best Year 2018 by Lisa Jacobs. Sorry I had to add in one more! For years now I’ve been watching Lisa come out with a bigger, badder, better edition of this book but I finally just said, “what am I waiting for?!” and I can’t wait to get through this whole book! She is a marketing genius, especially for bloggers or those with a product shop of sorts. Don’t wait to get this book, you’ll want/need it for the new year!

To sum it up: “Your Best Year is a productivity workbook and online business planner designed to make your most ambitious goals come true. It is for entrepreneurs who are ready to stretch their comfort zone and make it happen already. Written by a best-selling internet entrepreneur, no better resource exists to help you make the most of your business year.”

  1. When you feel like being purposeful:

    Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist. Joanna Gaines wrote a beautiful article about the power of this book in the Magnolia Journal and every since then it’s been on my reading list. I’m all about trying to be more present, intentional, soulful, you get the picture. Hopefully I’ll get this read by the end of November!

To sum it up: “Present Over Perfect is a collection of essays that focuses on the journey from frantic and tired to connected and free. Many of us find ourselves busier than we want to be, missing the sweetest moments along the way. We end up resentful and distracted, full of regret and feeling disconnected. Present Over Perfect is a hand reaching out to a new way of living—full of grace, space, and connection.”

  1. When you feel like tapping into another world:

    The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. I’ve heard about this book described as a dark dream you can’t help but be more and more curious about. The description alone really draws me in and to be totally honest I’m not sure if I will end up liking this book or not BUT I’m really curious to find out. I’ll keep you guys posted on what I think once I do read it!

To sum it up: “A groundbreaking work as delicate as a butterfly’s wing and as menacing as a knife in the dark, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is told with a rare understanding of all that makes us human, and shows the power of stories to reveal and shelter us from the darkness inside and out.”

Are any of these books on your reading list? Tell me your must-read books this fall by commenting below, I’m always looking to add to my list!

 

6 Lessons on Entrepreneurship I learned from Family
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6 Lessons on Entrepreneurship I Learned from My Family

Entrepreneurship runs in my blood. It’s something I feel like I was born with and as I look back on the different lessons my family taught me, whether consciously or not, it’s shaped me into who I am and the way I navigate being an entrepreneur.

Fun fact: When I was 8 years old, I made holiday-themed stationary. I used paint pens and colored pencils to create cards and paper with pretty borders. I then photocopied the originals and printed out a ton. Then, I made my parents a PowerPoint presentation all about why I should be allowed to go around my neighborhood and sell this stationary. It was VERY detailed, and they got a huge kick out of it. They also agreed to my proposition. That was probably my earliest memory of being an “entrepreneur.”

Below are 6 lessons on entrepreneurship I learned from my family. Lessons I hope you can take with you and implement into your life as well. Keep reading, and I would love to hear a lesson you’ve learned too!

Lesson #1: Have a Strong Work Ethic

Maybe this is a no-brainer, but it’s easier said than done. My Grandpa Jack (my Mom’s Father) was extremely hard working. He came from the generation of folks who worked very hard at their 9-5 and he did so happily in order to provide for the family. For 30 years, he worked at the same company as an accountant and while he never went out on his own like an entrepreneur, it’s a lesson that anyone can apply to their life. He was extremely reliable, trustworthy, and so hard working he almost never took a sick day his entire time at the company. Having a strong work-ethic is essential in being an entrepreneur, because there will come times when you have to put in more hours than you’ve ever wanted to put in (no matter what you do). If you understand that, you’re in a better position to get to a place where you won’t have to do that your whole life.

Lesson #2: Have a Strong Support System

My Grandma Ettie (my Mom’s Mother, short for Esther) was the most nurturing, understanding, and supportive person you ever met. She was exactly the kind of person you’d want on your side and if there’s anything that entrepreneurship has taught me, it’s that it can sometimes be a lonely road. She was the support system to Jack and her family that everyone needs. Find someone to be “your person.” You will need them when days get tough, when you need ideas to bounce off of someone, when you have great days you want to share, and when you have breakthroughs that need nurturing. If you’ve never read The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron talks about needing a “catcher’s mitt” person. Someone to nurture your artist, to encourage you, and to support you. She also taught me to be that person for someone else and I cherish that.

Lesson #3: When You See a Need— Fill it

My uncle Mark started his own company creating first aids kits to businesses and factories.
He saw a need and filled it. He took control of his future, of his idea, and then implemented it. This is so important because often we see a need for something and even as that entrepreneurial spirit stirs inside of us, we live in fear of acting on it. He taught me that you can create your own destiny and be your own boss.

Lesson #4: Being an Entrepreneur Requires Stamina and Laser Focus

My Grandma Betty (my Dad’s Mother) came from a very very poor family in Colorado in the 1930’s. They had virtually nothing and my Grandma struggled with being seen as the incompetent girl in the eyes of her father. That really lit a fire in my Grandma to surpass everyone’s expectations and be successful. Her present didn’t look anything like the future she knew she wanted for herself, so she worked her tail off to get to where she wanted to be.

Eventually, she moved to California with her mom and brother and quit high school her sophomore year to start her own business. She had sewn some clothes here and there in the past but decided to learn everything she could about sewing, hemming, you name it. She started a business as a seamstress and realized what she needed to do to up level competition. She decided to make herself a “professional,” offering a pickup and delivery service. This made her more professional than anyone her age and in the local market. Throughout her lifetime, she had laser focus and the utmost determination to find success in the businesses she started.

Lesson #5: Believe in Yourself First

My Dad has that entrepreneurial spirit in his blood, just like his mom. His entire life he’s worked his way up from job to job, breaking into industries that didn’t even seem possible in years past. Something my Dad has taught my brother and I is that it’s so important to have confidence in yourself. You will need to take risks throughout your life and journey in your business and the only way that will be possible is if you have the confidence in yourself to do so. No one else will believe in you, if you don’t believe in yourself first. He didn’t need anyone else’s approval or validation to go after what he knew he wanted. He knew he had potential and summoned a determined force within himself to be relentless until he got to where he wanted to be. So often I talk with people who say they want to make changes in their lives or want to start a business, but they don’t go after it with confidence and that laser focus. Every day an actionable step needs to be taken. It’s easier said than done, but my Dad taught me to be driven and to go after my dreams with confidence every single day.

Lesson#6: It’s Okay to Pivot

My parents made it a priority, and had the privilege, to spend as much quality/family time with my brother and I as possible when we were little. They cared deeply about the way they raised us and I always appreciated how much emphasis they put on family time. My mom worked for many years of her life, but there came a time when she felt the need to pivot. She strongly felt the need to be home with my brother and I and what I learned is that….that’s okay. There will come a time in your life and business where you will need to shift things. Either drastically or incrementally, but it will need to be done. Welcoming that change instead of dwelling on it could be one of the most beneficial lessons you can learn. I’m so glad my Mom taught me that it’s okay to pivot and make changes or honor what you feel in your heart is the right path to take, even if it’s different than originally planned.

Many of the lessons I’ve learned I had the privilege of learning while my grandparents were still alive. Some lessons though, I really didn’t learn or even realize until long after they passed away. I’m very close with my family and even writing this post makes me so proud of my parents too. I’ve never felt more honored to be a part of this family and look back on their journey, while taking what they taught me for the road ahead on my own.

What lesson on entrepreneurship have you learned from your family? What’s something you want to start implementing into your life? Tell me below by leaving a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

Photo Credit: “Made to Create” Coffee Mug Photo by Hannah Robinson. Coffee Mug by Me, find it here.

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returningtoyourvisionduringaseasonofchange
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Returning to the Heart of Your Vision During a Season of Change

Autumn is known as the season of change, rebirth, and growth. Not only do we see change and growth visibly around us, but it’s a time of year where we might be experiencing changes within ourselves, our business, or our goals. Today I want to bring to the table a conversation about why it’s important to stick with and trust your goals, your dreams, or your vision during a season of change. We will encounter change in our lives no matter the season, and sometimes that change will be in small increments and other times it will hit us like a storm. However that change enters your life, here are some thoughts on trusting that vision you so passionately saw for yourself from the beginning.

Transitioning from Summer to Fall

For me, the summer months inched by for my blog and business, and even my auditions seemed to slow their roll. But now that fall has arrived I’m in full-on crazy busy mode. My inbox is getting busier and busier as the weeks go on, I find myself flooded with new ideas and sometimes struggling to make time for it all. While I try to stick to powerblocking my days, as new opportunities arise and my schedule gets more jam-packed, I have to give myself mental checks to remember my initial goals and always return back to the heart of my vision. There are some weeks when I spend far too much time worrying about my blog and I have to be intentional about giving my writing, acting, and product creation side of my life enough attention and nurture too.

Your Work Evolves but Your Vision Remains

My blog is constantly evolving and especially because I’m relatively new to the blogging world, I’m finding exactly how I fit into this crazy blogosphere (or rather, stand out). I like incorporating new ideas into my blog or exploring new branches of blogging, but I know that the reason I started this blog was to inspire and encourage other women and people in general. Even if that inspiration comes in an unassuming way (like sharing things I’m loving for fall). In this blogging world, it can be hard not to get swept up into monetizing like crazy and trying to jump into the stream of bloggers that promote a new sale every hour. That works for them, they love it, and that’s great! But that’s not the heart of my vision. I constantly return back to my manifesto I wrote when I first published this blog. Do I find inspiration in style and beauty? Sure, of course! And that’s not to say I won’t be sharing things like that. However, I will never stop writing heartfelt inspirational blog posts that I hope inspire or motivate someone.

Bridging the Gap Between Ideas

Do you ever come across someone, whether in real life or on the internet, that suddenly makes everything click for you? I’ve heard Ashley Lemieux and her incredible story before on multiple podcasts but for some odd reason, it wasn’t until this week where I felt her journey and mission clicked with me. She found a way to bridge the gap between having a blog and the products she was making that had a greater purpose and she’s given me more inspiration than she knows. She truly understands balancing blogging and having a product shop and I love that she has found ways to keep on inspiring people every day and give back in life-changing ways. I have been trying to bridge the gap for so long between my blog and the products I create in my product shop and this week has been one of the most clarifying weeks I’ve had in a long time. I have some big changes that will be coming and ideas that I can’t wait to share!

Returning to Your Vision

Whatever it is that you do, take time to be present with yourself and remember your intentions for your dreams and your life. When things in your life start to change or get busy, pause and reflect. When I have busy weeks or even busy months and spend far too much time worrying about things that don’t matter I have to stop and ask myself: why am I worrying about this? Why am I spending so much time doing this? And if you’re experiencing a slow season, return to the heart of your vision and take a small step each day towards that goal. It can be hard, but it will pay off.

Let’s encourage each other during this season of change and growth! Comment below and tell me what returning to the heart of your vision looks like for you.

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Emmys 2017: Championing Women, Powerful Messages, and Partnership

This past Sunday, I tuned into the 2017 Emmy Awards. My mom and I have a tradition of watching both the Emmys and the Oscars every year, we love it! Besides rooting for my favorite actors, actresses, and TV shows, I also tune in for inspiration. Inspiration not only because I am an actor and screenwriter myself, but because I love seeing what they say in their speeches and the encouraging words they might pass on to others.

This year the Emmys brought up a lot of important topics, including diversity and domestic violence, but this blog post is about one topic in particular. Some of the messages communicated through speeches at the Emmys touched on championing women and better roles for them in the film industry, as well as growing ideas and projects through friendship. These words were both impactful and meaningful and I’m hoping to shed some more light on them.

Using Their Platform

One of my favorite TV mini-series of the year, Big Little Lies, took home a few of the awards this year which I was so happy about! When Nicole Kidman gave her speech for Best Lead Actress she said, “…sometimes when you’re acting you get a chance to bring a bigger message.” Though she went on to talk about domestic violence because that’s what her character in Big Little Lies goes through, both Nicole and Reese Witherspoon did use their platforms to talk about something bigger than themselves. In Hollywood, I’ve always found it interesting when people get up on stage and talk about themselves for 5 minutes. Unless there’s an uplifting message or some advice hidden in there, I truly appreciate it when people take the time to talk about a message or movement bigger than themselves.

#CommunityOverCompetition

When Big Little Lies won, both Reese and Nicole took the mic, with Reese saying, “It’s been an incredible year for women, bringing women to the forefront of their own stories and making them the hero of their own story…” Nicole continued by saying, “This is a friendship that created opportunity, it created opportunities out of a frustration because we weren’t getting offered great roles…”

This is SO important. It’s exhausting to see women in television and film who have dull roles. I’m so thankful more and more stories are being made that make women the hero of their own stories, including Big Little Lies.

An important movement that’s close to my heart is the community over competition movement started by The Rising Tide Society. This incredible group of makers and creatives are there so artists and entrepreneurs don’t have to go at their dreams alone. I love that we see the community over competition message within bigger industries and talked about on larger platforms like at the Emmys. The women of Big Little Lies could’ve easily taken an attitude or stance that they were each other’s competition, but they actively chose not to. There are a lot of people no matter what industry you’re in who will try to put you down for making moves, being successful, or being extremely driven with what you want. This is not the idea of “keep your friends close and your enemies closer” AT ALL. This movement is about lifting each other up, finding each other’s strengths, and banding together to create beautiful things.

I’m sure we’ve all had times in our lives when we felt a tickle of jealousy, fear, anger, sadness, etc. when someone in a similar industry as you has the success that you haven’t had yet (myself included). However, everyone is different and each individual has their own path. There is no one way to achieving your goals or dreams and just because someone similar to us is on that same path, doesn’t mean we can’t be both encouraging and supportive to them while chasing a similar dream too. I love that Reese and Nicole reiterated this same message at the Emmys.

How can you encourage or support a friend with a similar dream this week? How can you collaborate to create something amazing? Tell me in the comments by scrolling to the bottom!

6 Inspiring Podcasts Every Women Entrepreneur Needs to Listen To
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6 Inspiring Podcasts Every Woman Entrepreneur Needs to Listen to

My obsession with podcasts really only started this past year, even though they’ve been around for a long time. It was always something that seemed like a lot of mental work, to have to sit and listen to a podcast (and I had never clicked the purple podcast icon on my phone before). But then I went down the rabbit hole and stumbled upon a few inspiring podcasts I couldn’t get enough of and soon my drives to auditions and time on the treadmill at the gym were filled with podcasts! I’m big on finding inspiration and motivation through other people’s stories and it’s a definite possibility you’ll be glued to your headphones after listening to some of my favorites. Below are 6 podcasts filled with uplifting, motivational, and touching messages from women entrepreneurs who truly inspire you to go after your dreams and goals!

The Laptop Lifestyle Podcast

This podcast is for “virtual entrepreneurs, millennials on the go, and adventure seekers with big dreams,” and I love Alexis! What’s awesome about her is it feels like she’s right there in the trenches with us navigating entrepreneurship (even though she’s doing big things too), and yet we’re gleaning SO much great information from all the creatives she interviews. Episode to tune into: Episode 33: Pursuing Faith and Authenticity in a Filtered World, with Lifestyle Blogger, Lauren Kay Sims


The Influencer Podcast 

Julie Solomon is THE GIRL to go to for all things blogging, PR, marketing, and pitching related and I’ve been following her for a long time. I recently did a mastermind with her and was amazed by her eye for improvements and sweet help! I was so excited when she launched her podcast and I’m addicted to it! The women she interviews give such sound advice for following the paths you know you’re truly meant to follow and not being afraid to start the business of your dreams. So many of the conversations she has had stuck with me and I hope you’ll give it a listen! Episode to tune into: Episode 16: From Assistant to a 500K Influence– The Evolution of Creative Dawn McCoy

The Goal Digger Podcast

I remember the day I tuned into her very first podcast! Thanks to recommendations from The Rising Tide Society Facebook group, it was such a cool feeling to think I was going along on her podcast journey with her! The podcast is a “live-workshop style business podcast for creative girl bosses, so you can train from the experts how to dig in, do the work, and tackle your biggest goals along the way.” Now, I listen to every podcast she puts out and I love the way she communicates her messages so clearly and in the most personable way. You’ll find yourself remembering her advice months later. Major inspiration for how to #hustlewithheart! Episode to tune into: Episode 57: How to Know and Attract Your Ideal Client

Make it Happen Podcast

The podcast for big-hearted creatives that you’ll fall in love with! I stumbled across this one day when I was looking for a podcast specifically on how to work through all the creative ideas I had that were overwhelming me. Jen Carrington is a UK based creative coach with some BIG takeaways about living a wholehearted creative life. She takes big ideas and breaks them down into simple and beautiful concepts that you walk away with ready to apply to your own life and creative projects. Plus who doesn’t love her accent?! Episode to tune into: S04 E03: CLARITY VS CERTAINTY 

Femtrepreneur:

They describe their podcast as perfect for online course creators, but I’ve found some super helpful information on here about blogging, content creation, and so much more! They are absolutely hilarious and have the funniest personalities which is great because there’s nothing worse than an interesting podcast topic ruined by a boring host haha. Also lots of amazing freebies! Episode to tune into: TFS 015: How to Balance Freelancing with Lauren Hooker


Off Camera with Sam Jones

You’re probably wondering why this podcast filled with actor interviews is on the list if you know anything celebrity photographer about Sam Jones, but I wanted to include this one for SO many reasons. There’s nothing more inspirational than listening to people tell their stories of how they made their dreams come true and that’s what every episode touches on. These people share their trials and tribulations, their accomplishments, touching moments, you name it. It’s inspiring to listen to because it serves as a great reminder that there is no one single path to get to where you want to be or what you want to create in this life. Go listen to it! Episode to tune into: Episode 2: John Krasinski

 

What’s your favorite podcast right now? Tell me in the comments below by scrolling to the bottom and dropping me a note, I’d love to hear from you!!

 

 

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Morning Habits that Will Inspire You to Create
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5 Morning Habits that Will Inspire You to Create

My morning routine is pretty simple and I’ll admit, you’re not going to see anything mind-blowing on this list that you probably haven’t heard of before. Simplicity is key for me, especially in my morning routine. I learned that the more intentional I was about my mornings and the more I stick to them this way, I was more inspired to write, brainstorm new ideas, and do what I love to do best: create. So here are 5 healthy morning habits I’ve gotten into a routine of doing that inspire me to create.

Create before you Consume

AKA don’t be on your phone first thing in the morning. I used to wake up and check my phone in bed while my eyes were barely open. Not only did that start to strain my eyes sometimes, but it would either get me stressed right away if I looked at how many emails I had or it was a big distraction because I would start scrolling through Facebook and Instagram, and let’s face it, there’s nothing that interesting on there so early in the morning. “Create before you Consume” was actually something I heard Julie Solomon say over a year ago when I tuned into one of her webinars. It really hit home for me because I realized, I know that my mind is more alert and fresh in the mornings. That’s when I do my best writing. But being able to create was being overshadowed by everything else I was consuming. It’s hard to come up with an original idea when you’re flooded by the ideas of everyone else. This is something I’ve really tried not to do and it’s worked so well this past year! For me creating before I consume means I don’t read other blogs, scroll on social media, read another screenplay, etc. before I write my own blog post, a page in my own screenplay, etc. the list goes on. I usually keep my phone on silent until I’ve finished writing and drinking my coffee.

Morning Pages

If you’re sick of me talking about my love for morning pages yet, you’re in for a treat haha. Morning Pages for me (3 handwritten pages of whatever comes to mind) makes me feel so grounded and ready to attack the day. It’s the ultimate dump and jump—dump out everything that might be weighing on you, stressing you out, or even positive things that might just be clogging up your brain and then jump into your day with a freer peace of mind. Sometimes I read a few pages of The Artists Way before writing these pages, which is where I heard about this in the first place! Doing my morning pages gets my creative juices flowing and sometimes I come up with my best ideas for my projects during these pages. So inspiring!

The routine of coffee or tea

For me, this is a part of my routine that I covet. I love my mornings so much. It’s “me” time and I love to sit and drink a few sips of my coffee with my dogs snuggled up near me and enjoy that time. Sometimes I think it’s less about actually needing that caffeine (although let’s be real I am a coffee fanatic) and more about the routine of enjoying my cup of brew. Having a part in my routine that I do without fail brings more intention and consciousness into my everyday life, and furthermore it inspires me to go create something I love.  You may not be a coffee or tea drinker and that’s fine, but find something that you will do every day and just sit there for a few minutes taking it all in. We won’t always have mornings to ourselves so I like to cherish that.

Get dressed before you create

Whether you work from home or you’re finding time for your morning routine before heading to work, I find that getting dressed makes you feel mentally prepared to get down to business. Of course, I still like to be comfortable and most days you’ll probably find me in workout clothes regardless if I’m working out, but staying in my pajamas until noon does not do me justice. Getting dressed inspires me to be conscious that it’s time to make those ideas a reality. 

Morning Habits that Inspire You to Create, Made to Create Coffee Mug

“Made to Create” coffee mug by Samantha Skelton. Click to buy. Photo by Hannah Robinson Designs

Start Creating

Aren’t we talking about things to do in the morning that inspire you to create? Yes, but it’s sort of like that saying, “to begin, begin.” Like I said before, I do my best work in the morning. It’s when my brain is most alert and I show up and do the work in the mornings more so than any other time in the day. Sometimes just starting in on a project can lead to more ideas, momentum, or creative clarity. There is no better time to start than “now” because tomorrow will lead to never.

What habits do you do that inspire you to create? Share your inspiration below by scrolling to the bottom to leave a comment!

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Your Life is Your Art: Living with Intention
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Your Life is Your Art

The millennial generation travels more and seems to have a yearning to “experience” things more than any previous generation. Do we like to capture the things we “experience” on social media? Of course. But our generation holds onto the idea that when we’re at the end of our life we want to look back and say, “Wow! Look at all places I went, the people I met, the things I created, the legacy I left, and the experiences I went through!” Maybe we have major FOMO (fear of missing out) or fear of the, “I wish I had…” at the end of our life or maybe…we treat our life like art. Every experience we have is like another brush of paint on the canvas. And if you’re not already thinking of your life as art, maybe it’s time to so that you can start living with intention and purpose.

It’s Time to Make Time

I’ll be honest, I don’t wake up every single day and think to myself, “what can I do today to add to my art or my story.” But with every year that I get older or every trip that opens my eyes somehow and every experience I have that moves me— I do stop to think: I will never get this moment back, so let’s make the most of it. I welcome those simple reminders every now and then to treat my life like art. The truth is we go on with our lives in our daily routine and forget to appreciate our art. Time moves so fast and I’d love nothing more than frequent reminders to worry less, slow down, move out of my comfort zone, and MAKE TIME! Make time to create, make time for the people you love, make time to travel and experience things that you’ve only read about thus far. I’m someone that needs constant reminders of the bigger picture, especially when something is weighing me down or has me stressed out. In the end will it really matter? Is it really worth forsaking peace of mind? The answer is almost always “never.” Life is too short.

Peaks and Valleys

Life is made up of the good and the bad, the chaotic and the calm, the peaks and the valleys. Life isn’t always perfect and if we’re treating our life as art, it’s not going to be a perfect masterpiece in the way we think it might be. But it will be perfect in its unique way. Thinking of our lives as art doesn’t mean we won’t encounter difficult times, but it’s those hard times that make our life and who we are as individuals so “us.”

We only get one canvas, one life, and we can do whatever we want with it. If there’s something we’ve been wanting to go after, a dream we’ve been wanting to reach, somewhere we’ve been yearning to see…let’s vow to make time for it. The hard part is being intentional about our lives. We have to be intentional about being present, about being positive, about making time.  Get rid of the negatives in your life, whatever that may look like to you. Whether that’s a negative person or a project you just dread, if you can, let it go.

What Will You Create?

Your life is your art! What will you create with it? Tell me all the things you’ve been wanting to do or make time for below. Saying them out loud is like a verbal pact to get ‘em done! For me, I know I want to make time to create the films I’ve been wanting to make for so long, to travel to parts of the south with my Mom that we’ve been talking about for years, and stop coloring my canvas with shades of worry and anxiety. Your turn.

P.S. link to the “Her Life is Her Art” Coffee Mug

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showing up for your dreams
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Showing Up For Your Dreams

I’m no expert on turning your dreams into a reality, but I am a girl who has big, big dreams and no plans of stopping anytime soon. I feel compelled to share some motivational thoughts on showing up for your dreams. I’m young, I have a lot of life left to live, but I’m showing up for my dreams and I want you to join me!

I came across something the other day that went something like this: If you don’t work hard towards making your dreams a reality, they become exactly that…a dream.

Maybe It’s The Fear Talking

Have you ever had that experience where there’s something you really want to do or accomplish, but you’re kind of blocked from just starting in on it? I know I have! Maybe it’s the fear talking, maybe it’s the idea that your dream is so big, how could you ever reach it? And you keep putting it off because there’s no time or you just need to finish this one thing before you start in on moving towards your dream. But then weeks turn to months and months turn to years. Before you know it, that thing you were so passionate about is still a dream and you’re not closer to it than you were before.

It’s not enough to just be passionate about something. It’s not enough to list all the reasons why you can’t take that leap because there will never be a 100% perfect time in your life. You have to show up for your dreams so that they will become a reality or they will stay exactly that…a dream.

Showing Up For Your Dreams Is No Walk in the Park

I get it though, it’s no walk in the park to show up for your dreams. It takes time out of your day, away from your family or friends, commitment, perseverance, and an unshakeable faith. There have been plenty of times where I questioned my path. To be honest, I’ve always had this unwavering faith and laser focus that I will achieve my dreams. Once I was able to say with confidence that I wanted to act and be a screenwriter (and now a blogger) I’ve never looked back. But that doesn’t mean that there are times when it’s still a challenge to show up for my dreams. Like I said, it’s not easy.

It’s not easy to learn about the world of blogging. And in my opinion if you want to do something greater with your blog than make it an online diary, you have to work at it. Learn the blogging world inside and out and show up consistently on the platform. The same goes for the other things I’m passionate about. It’s not always easy to sit down and force myself to write just a few pages in my script. Or make a commitment (financially and otherwise) to sign up for a new acting class, etc., the list goes on and on. But I know that the same goes for you. I know you’re sitting there feeling all the same things I’m feeling.

It is necessary to show up for your dreams, work hard towards them with the mindset that there will be no “backup plan,” and make forward moving steps towards what you really want to do in life.

6 Ways to Show Up For Your Dreams

1. Take one actionable step each week. I know it sounds so simple, but there are a lot of times when we don’t even do this “simple thing.” It’s Monday and we tell ourselves we’ll do something to move in the direction of our dreams and before we know it, it’s Sunday again. Send out your resume, sign up for a class, quit the job you hate, send one email, read a book on the topic you want to be an expert on, better your craft. Just. Do. Something. Anything. Because don’t forget, the “I will next weeks” turn into years. Don’t let that happen to you (or me).

2. Practice self-compassion. So, this might contradict the first step, but don’t be so hard on yourself when you fall off the wagon. Yes, try to take one small step each week but if you have a bad week and don’t do anything, don’t beat yourself up over it. Don’t let one bad week derail your entire journey, just pick up where you left off but with more focus and perseverance to stay on that path.

3. Own who you are and what you want. Showing up for your dreams means owning what you love, what you’re passionate about, and what you want to do in life. Read my post on Speaking Confidently About What You Do for more on this. It’s so important, and one of my most-read blog posts to date.

4. Continue to learn and work on your craft. I think one way to stand out from the crowd is to know your craft, your business, or your industry inside and out. Whatever you dreams are, do everything you can to educate yourself and learn as much as you can about it. I love learning and I’ll never stop reading, exploring, and trying new things. Sign up for a class, read a book, take an online course, watch videos, there are endless possibilities! But don’t put it off because learning also takes time. Rome wasn’t built in a day, right?

5. Prioritize your dreams. One of the hardest things is making time for those tiny actionable steps that will lead to something greater. But if that means doing a 30 minute task instead of watching your favorite Netflix show, waking up earlier, not going out during the week, whatever it is just prioritize your dreams.

From my Etsy shop: Celebrate Every Tiny Victory Postcard

Bonus: Have someone to encourage you and your dreams. Being an entrepreneur, a creative, or really anyone with a DREAM can be lonely and tough to navigate. Having someone there to listen to your bad days and encourage you when you have those tiny victories really makes a world of difference.

Let’s make a mental pact together to take an actionable step towards our dreams this week. If you want, leave a comment below and tell me what yours is I would love to hear it! Scroll to the bottom to comment!

How Finishing Mundane Tasks Can Lead to Creative Productivity
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Finishing Mundane Tasks Can Lead to Creative Productivity

Sometimes the path to creative productivity is a road less traveled when you’re willing to go out of the norm. Today I wanted to talk about the idea that digging into your daily chore list or completing an otherwise mundane task can lead you to become unblocked creatively on the project you desperately need to gain momentum on. Whether it’s a plot line for your novel, a color scheme for your latest painting, or even a blog post that you just can’t seem to sit down and let the words flow, the answer to your problems might just be the laundry you’ve been dreading to fold.

Cooperating with the Creative Process

One of the biggest challenges for me as a writer is sitting down to do the work. Often times, I feel like I will do everything else BUT sit down to finish my scripts. I’ve come to know my habits however, and part of the reason I do that is because I am a type-A perfectionist and I want my story lines and my dialogue to be perfect before I even sit down to write. I also get impatient. I just want it to be finished already, especially because I can see it so clear in my head! I’m not asking too much am I? For it to be all perfect before I even start?! I know, I know. I thought so.

“Mystery is at the heart of creativity,” says Julia Cameron of The Artist’s Way. “That, and surprise. All too often, when we say we want to be creative, we mean that we want to be able to be productive. Now, to be creative is to be productive—but by cooperating with the creative process, not forcing it.”

So what I’ve learned to do is to trust the creative process, not force it.

Treat Your Work Like a Cupcake

Yes, like a cupcake. Your story, your painting, your blog post…whatever your project is that you’re feeling blocked with, it needs time to bake. And sometimes when you sit down to delve deep into your project, you’re just creatively blocked because the right ideas haven’t come along yet. No one knows how frustrating that is more than me. But treat your project like a cupcake. Give it time to blend together and rise!

To Begin, Begin. Or…Finish Something Else

Often times the best way to get through that gray period where you’re feeling blocked, frustrated, and unproductive is to go do a nagging chore. Yes, I’m actually telling you to go do the laundry which you hate, the dishes that you despise, or drag yourself to the gym that you’ve been avoiding. How in the world does this relate back to finishing that creative project? Because sometimes completing a mundane task has a funny way of leading us into the perfect idea for our story or hitting us smack in the face with a blog post title that will make your fingers fly across the keyboard to get it out. That “dark period” where you feel like a complete failure because you just can’t get into that productive creative flow can be a tricky state. But in a weird reverse psychology way, the art of finishing something seems to be a nice remedy to your beginning.

A Mundane Task: Part of Creative Discovery

As Julia Cameron puts it in The Artist’s Way, “We are an ambitious society, and it is often difficult for us to cultivate forms of creativity that do not directly serve us and our career goals.”

So while you may think that going for a dreaded run or doing laundry will do nothing to unblock you or push you along in the creative project that you just can’t seem to be productive with, it actually can very much do the opposite.

“Many hobbies involve a form of artist-brain mulling that leads to enormous creative breakthroughs. When I have a screenwriting student stuck at the midpoint of act two, I ask them to please go do their household mending. They usually balk, offended by such a mundane task, but sewing has a nice way of mending up plots,” says Cameron.

It’s hard to do things that at first seem like they won’t further our goals or our career. I don’t think any of us are exactly thinking, “Okay, first vacuum and then I’ll be straight on my way to being a New York Times Best Seller!” But creating order in our life can suddenly put in us the need to create order in our creative project, which then turns to productivity. The routine of doing another task can often jump start our creativity and even the sense of accomplishment that we feel when finishing a nagging task. Suddenly you go from 0 to 100 with a newfound sense of energy and purpose with your work.

The Answers to Your Creative Productivity Questions

When unfinished work presents itself, a million questions can run through your mind. I know when I’m stuck on a specific scene I’m working on, I’m usually asking myself a thousand “what if” questions. “What if this character does this instead of that?” “What if my plot goes this way instead of that?” Completing a mundane task can sometimes provide the answers to those questions.

Cameron gives a great example of this in The Artist’s Way (last quote I promise). She talks about a woman, a designer, who bicycles home from work every day. The rhythmic and repetitive motion provides solutions to her most nagging creative questions that block her from being productive and coming up with simple design solutions. When bicycling, “Solutions just come. Somehow, I am freed to free-associate, and things begin to fall into place.”

Takeaways

So, go clean your room, take a shower, put the dishes away, or take a run. These everyday mundane tasks are itching to get your creative juices flowing, whether or not you think they are. These chores just might be the needed step towards unblocking yourself/your creativity. How else do you think I got this blog post done 😉



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