Tag Archives: creativity

The Season of Gratitude

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Has anyone else felt that the holidays came at the blink of an eye this year? It was fall, and suddenly it is full-on Christmastime. I hope my American followers enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday as a time to relax, reflect, and spend time with family and friends. My holiday wasn’t necessarily relaxing, but I am happy that I made the most of spending time with family and friends throughout the week – from Ohio (Cleveland and Columbus) to Michigan (Royal Oak, Rochester, Bloomfield Hills, and Detroit!).

While it has been easy for me to get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of the season, from travel planning, to shopping for gifts, to decorating my apartment, I wanted to make sure to spend time reflecting. After all, the holiday season for me is the season of gratitude. I wanted to share a few things that make me feel especially grateful this year and hopefully they will inspire you to think about what you are grateful for as well!

First, I am grateful for creativity. Throughout the fall I have had a huge craving for the arts. If I see or think of something creative, I want to try it! I made candles with my neighbors, which is surprisingly much easier than you would think. You collect old jars you have around the house, melt wax in a pan, pour wax into the jars, and mix in your favorite combination of scents from essential oils or spices (fun fact – turmeric is a great spice to color your candle), and voila – you have a candle! I also painted freestyle with my neighbors in our own version of a “wine and paint” party. This is much more budget friendly and intimate way to paint with your friends – you get to choose the wine, paint at your own pace, and be at the comfort of your own home! I practiced flow painting with family during the Thanksgiving – which was so much fun and also therapeutic. What could be more fun (from an arts perspective) than mixing paint with Elmer’s glue and water, combining colors in a cup, and pouring them onto a canvas in whichever order you would like? You would be amazed how quickly you can look like a professional artist through flow painting! And most recently, I decorated a gingerbread house with my dad so that we could share enjoying the Christmas spirit even though we live far apart. Through all of these experiences, I have found that the arts are one way for me to focus my mind on the present. It helps clear my mind even for a short moment – which frees up space for me to problem solve and reflect in my daily life. It is very rewarding to see the outcome, a tangible and visual example of my work. I look forward to continuing the arts in the new year!

I am grateful for home. I have realized how important it is to have a home – and I don’t mean a physical location. My apartment in Greenville feels like home with all the memories from loved ones, including furniture from my grandma, decorations from my travels, warm candles, and photos of important people in my life. Spending time in Michigan with family feels like home, because my loved ones make it home. Even as my relatives have moved locations, I still feel at home when we are all together. It is the sense of togetherness that makes a place home for me. I can say that my heart feels its best and the most complete when it has a sense of “home.”

I am grateful for flexibility. There is no better feeling than when I have options and I don’t feel “stuck” – whether that means in my life decisions, my daily schedule, or my travels. Flexibility and free time are incredibly liberating and are helping me as I plan for the future. I feel lucky that my job allows me to have work-life balance – to flexibly schedule my commitments at work and at home. I just started the book, “The Power of Now,” and through that I am already realizing that time is imaginary and we should never feel stuck in a situation. Everything can be much more flexible if we separate ourselves from time pressures and worries and focus on the present and what we truly want. I have a feeling I will write a post about “The Power of Now” based on how much it has inspired me in just the first 50 pages of the book.

I am grateful for friendship. As I have moved every year since officially being an adult, and often multiple times per year, I could not be more grateful for the friendships I have made along the way. New and old friends along the way have helped me explore new places, laughed with me on the good days, cried with me on the bad days, and reflected on life. Together we have shared experiences that have helped me grow and prepare for the next phase. I can honestly say I don’t know where I would be without them – thank you to everyone who has been a friend along the way – can’t wait for more adventures together!

What are you grateful for? I hope these reflections help all of us remember to pause and think about the season of gratitude. May the holidays bring you much happiness, joy, and peace this year!

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An InspirNational Creative Space

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Are you craving creativity? Or, are you lacking creativity and looking for inspiration? I have found over the past year that I have been drawn to all things creative – from decorating my apartment in South Carolina, to painting wine glasses and cooking new recipes. The urge has also impacted my writing, particularly when I studied in France. In Paris, I would be riding the metro, think of an idea, and feel that I couldn’t do anything until I wrote down my ideas. I have also faced creativity lulls, where I am desperate to feel inspired and come up with new ideas. During the winter, I attended a Pink Pangea writing workshop, which was the perfect way for me to refresh my creative space and inspire me to write in new ways.

One of my favorite takeaways from the writing workshop was to learn from my body and senses about creativity and developing a creative space. Below are some great ideas we can learn from our bodies in order to become more creative:

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Source: weddingandeventsbymuse.com

Our eyes remind us to change our perspective and look beyond what we think we should be seeing. Our eyes love when we pause to enjoy a sunset or see our loved ones for the first time in a while.

Our ears remind us to listen to the sounds around us. We may think of a new tune or discover a new sense of peace as we develop our creative space.

Our shoulders want us to put them down and relax, to let loose, and to be free. This sense of freedom and relaxation will allow new inspirNational ideas to come our way.

Our nose reminds us how significant scent can be in our daily lives, such as smelling freshly baked cookies and a bouquet of flowers. We should incorporate scents, such as candles and fresh air, in our daily lives in order to develop an inspirNational creative space.

The list goes on…and it is amazing how much we can learn from our physical selves in order to develop our creative, emotional, and spiritual selves! I hope that these ideas help you find more creativity in your daily life.

 

 

inspirNational Holiday Gift Ideas

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How can you show you appreciate your loved ones and friends this holiday season? Here are a few inspirNational ideas:

  • Give the gift of exploration. Plan a trip to explore a new place, near or far, with your loved ones. LivingSocial and GroupOn consistently post great excursions and adventures near you. Hotels often offer holiday packagaes and airBnB provides affordable lodging options throughout the world. Exploring will bring you new insights and memories you will never forget!
  • Give the gift of creativity. Especially if you have been craving arts and crafts, make an art creation for your loved ones. Paint a picture, design a scrapbook (Apple has great digital scrapbooks you can make!), or make a blanket! I enjoyed painting wine glasses-turned-candle holders for my family this year. You can also purchase art class subscriptions, such as wine and painting classes, to encourage your loved ones to be creative as well.
  • 12196080_10153756082319559_3837647999765978955_nGive the gift of homemade cuisine. I have loved the trend of recipes and ingredients sent to your door, making home-cooked meals much easier than ever before! There are also great custom wine deliveries, snack deliveries, and pet food deliveries, that make a “staycation” possible, customizable, and fun!
  • Give the gift of reflection. Purchase yoga or meditation classes to help your loved ones relax and reflect as they enter the new year. There are also reflection books, such as The Five Book, which help you think about your vision for your future that will make you that happiest version of yourself.

What other inspirNational gift ideas do you have?