Play. Do you do it? I know that it can feel like there is never enough time to do the things you love and devote to creative pursuits. Just the fact that it needs to be scheduled in can suck the fun right out of it. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Being playful can hugely influence your creativity and confidence.
My friend and past coach Claire Baker has just launched her very first eCourse into the world: Wild, Well and Creative. I’m all signed up and excited to dive in. Creativity, self-care and play are Claire’s speciality so I thought I’d share with you the cliff notes from an email exchange I had with her whilst she was planning the course.
This is my 50th blog post and I’ve been blogging for a little over 9 months now. I can't quite believe that it's been that long but a lot has changed in that time. We’re talking career direction changes, connecting with a new group of incredibly inspirational and like-minded bloggers, creatives and entrepreneurs, as well as opening up to new opportunities for personal growth and business avenues. And, of course, I started a blog, which has been the most rewarding experience of my life so far. Big claim, but I mean it. Which is why I want to share my secret blogging weapon with all you bloggers (past, present and future), writers, entrepreneurs and creative biz types: Bright-Eyed & Blog-Hearted.
I love a good book and I’ve ploughed through a fair few this year so I thought I’d share some of the cliff notes with you. Before we begin I’ll say that the first three books are very approachable, practical and insightful - I’d recommend them to anyone. The last three are a little more soulful and self-helpy so if that’s not your gig then no worries but if you're up for ‘em then I’d be willing to bet that they’ll deliver value in spades. Onwards...
I’ve been learning a lot about Life in past last year; collecting snippets of wisdom here, there and everywhere. So I’m sharing some of the most impactful guidance that I’ve picked up in the recent past.
I’m still baffled by the notion that I have been doing this 6 months already (whaaat?). I spent all yesterday afternoon scrolling through them all and was a little stunned by how much has changed since I started this blog. But I’ll save you hours of distraction and Blackberry/iPhone Thumb (a repetitive strain injury from using your phone too much, ha!) and give you my favourites from the year that was. You guys always make your votes known when you comment and view my posts, and the most popular of these go into my sidebar under 'Popular Posts' but I thought I'd share a selection of my own faves. Carefully curated to keep it down to just 7, because obviously we want all the good karma on our side going into 2015. Enjoy!
At the end of 2013 I, like the rest of us, was making all kinds of declarations and resolutions for 2014. I made pages (and paaages…) of notes in a journal, set a bunch of goals and a challenge for each month. I also chose 3 theme words for the year: Mindful, Authenticity, and Brave.
I only actually competed one of those challenges and about ⅔ of the goals. It’s fair to say that my theme words got a lot less exercise than I had intended; in fact, I all but forgot about them until I flipped back through my journal the other day. I’m not suggesting that these aren’t powerful practices (read: really are and I'v already set goals and chosen a theme word for 2015), so call me Captain Obvious but if you don’t follow through and put your words into action then not a lot happens. And that was definitely reflected in first half of 2014 for me. Except for one thing: I finally started listening to all voices in my head telling me what I really wanted to create, be and do, rather than what I thought I or others wanted and expected of me. Even though there were hardly any major external changes, some kind of momentous shift was unfolding inside my head and heart. Still, I was stalling.
And yet… I can honestly say that 2014 has been the best year of my life to date.
Giving gifts and presents isn't a new practice (it's been happening for thousands of years) but with all the hype I think we have gotten a little caught up in the need to give something physical or that has cost us money rather than out love, time and attention. Now that Christmas is nearly here I'm going to make a little suggestion for a gift that you can give this christmas without spending a bean or fretting over getting it right.
I adore giving gifts. Even more than I love receiving them, which is quite a lot ;) I love handing over a gift that I know someone is going to love because I put the time and energy into making sure that I got them something they will truly enjoy, or at least find useful. I'm not a fan of clutter either so handing over mindless crap feels wasteful and icky. I really believe that giving a thoughtful gift doesn't just show you care but also has the potential to light them up.