8/16/15

Currently - August

Hello,

CURRENTLY.....



Listening to... a lot of podcasts. My absolute favorite is: Elizabeth Gilbert's Magic Lessons. Pure magic! I can't wait for her new book to come out. Her insights are really good. 

Reading... the latest issue of Art Journaling Magazine. As always, a pure delight and great way to discover new artists.

Eating... a lot better than I used to. I might try fasting soon. Just one evening a week first with apples and then, 3 or 4 days before school starts to reboot my body before the new school year starts.

Drinking... cold tea, and especially Dammann Frères green teas (anything they do is absolutely gorgeous). When it's scorching hot outside, nothing beats iced tea. 

Wearing... all variations of this dress from H&M (sorry, I didn't find it on the US website). I bought all the colors (something I never do), but it"s so classy and comfy, it was the perfect summer companion for me this year.

Feeling... grateful to have become a cat mummy to Miss Ginger, she's such a cool and easy cat! 

Weather... The heat wave is finally over. We can finally breathe and stop sweating like hell!

Wanting... even more time out. This year, I'm really enjoying being on vacation. I've never stopped working during my previous vacations. I just couldn't unplug from work for years. Now that I've successfully unplugged for the first time in my life, I can't seem to plug back in. I'll have to eventually, but I'm savoring the last days of break...

Needing... a better daily routine. I've improved my diet and creative routine, I now need to tackle sleep and exercise. Not a small feat!

Thinking...  about going on a retreat next year. Abroad, if possible. An art retreat would be ideal. If you have any ideas to suggest in the comments, please, do so. 

Enjoying... a few excellent journaling classes and photo challenges (you can follow me on Instagram for that part). I'll post a review of each one of them when I'm done. Among them, there is The 30-Day Journal Project by Lisa Sonora Beam, Tarot Memoirs by Vanessa Sage,  30 Days of Writing: Write Yourself Alive, and others that I'll mention later in September as I have still a lot of work on them. It makes August a really productive and fun month!


And to finish, a few good blog posts:

Jen from Journal Wild is making an excellent point: Create first, consume later. So true! It's turning my journaling practice around!

- Caylee Grey has a very interesting take on Morning Pages. I'm definitely juggling with my journal and to-do lists too first thing in the morning.

- If you ever wanted to start collage, Jamie Ridler covered the basics for you here.

- If you've ever struggled with depression, Samie Kira from Journal Girl wrote a very powerful blog post about her struggle and you can follow her artful adventures on her blog. Art has such a healing power...

Sabrina S.

8/9/15

Blog Your Heart - Summer Edition

Hello!

Original post by Stephanie

It feels so good to come back after a few weeks away visiting friends & family. In my previous blog, I loved responding to Stephanie Howell's blogging challenge: Blog Your Heart whenever I could. So, here is this summer's edition and the rules if you ever wanted to participate:

1. Blog whatever is authentic. Whatever is truly on your mind and in your heart. 
2. It can be serious, silly, short, long. NOTE:No one said it has to be serious. But it should be authentic.
3. No judging allowed no snarky comments, no making fun, no passive agressive digs.If you are going to read the blogs linked below, don't be mean. Nothing here is whining, though I can't help it if you perceive it that way. It's me honestly sharing my feelings. if you feel that it's whining, then you don't have to read. :)
4. If you BYH, link back here. I'll add an Inlinkz tool at the end of the post. I always read and comment on every single post.
5. Feel free to use the graphic above. Just make sure to link back to me.

Here's my contribution:
1) I recently understood something really important about my creativity: I am a non-linear person. By that, I mean, that unlike a lot of people I cannot stick to any set schedule for any long period of time. It's just not my thing. I used to beat myself up about not being able to commit daily or monthly to the classes I registered, drooling over all of these people in private Facebook groups who could and feeling bad, guilty, down... Those days are over. I just work differently. I DO complete the classes I sign up to but in my own rhythm and yes, a lot of the time, the class is long finished. But who cares? Am I going to be arrested by the creativity police? Mostly, it is because I have many passions (scrapbooking, art journaling, photography, journaling...) and usually, my creativity goes from one project to the next following how I feel. I feel differently pretty much everyday so it's no surprise that my creativity flows differently everyday too. Now that I made that realization, I feel lighter and more committed to my way of completing things without the negativity I felt before. And surprisingly, I haven't done more than these days!
The industry is also evolving. First, it used to be very frustrating (at least for people like me!) to see the birth of Project Life at first, for example. Not because of the concept itself or the wonderful supplies it contained but because of the regular process it implied. Now more and more people are rethinking their way of approaching this particular kind of project by getting away from the weekly format to another form. 
In addition, the online platforms with a monthly payment that are emerging today (like Creative Bug, Big Picture Classes, and Brave Girl University) also make it easier to relax on the completion of the classes we take. They offer a guilt-free commitment environment that was much needed, I think, where we can do things "à la carte" whenever we feel like it. Exactly what I need and love! 


2) Yesterday, I also realized that the way we look at our personal history can completely impair our ability to relate to people or situations, or hear something that someone is telling us correctly, or react appropriately. Our perception of what we've been through is really a strong filter or lens that will color our interactions with the world around us. Our past is a narrative, a story, a plot where we are the main character and sometimes, we can get carried away by the drama of it all. It can take a long time to manage to get a bit of critical distance with our self-narration. If we do not put in the effort to heal our wounds, they will influence us, and it's not always in the best way. They master you more than you may want to realize. Getting on top of them is a powerful, soulful, and spiritual journey.


3) This year, my faith came back to me. I never thought I would ever write this but it did. I used to be a believer as a very young child. I hadn't been influenced by anyone in my family or anything. I just was. For example, I prayed very strongly when someone died because I thought that the more people prayed to accompany the soul of the deceased, the safer that person's soul would arrive in the other realm. I have no clue how I got those ideas into my head so young. I would pray for anyone, even famous singers I didn't know. And then, when I was around 11/12, it all left and I spent the following 2 decades in utter and hopeless depression. 

Now that it's back, I understand why it became insanely difficult for me to cope with life from that point on. When my best friend died when I was 19, I didn't pray. I couldn't. And mourning became impossible. I spent years, like a walking dead, walking around in a disenchanted world where nothing had meaning and logic. I was so lost... I'm happy to feel the opposite today. It all happened while watching over a friend's single son's body at the mortuary. The rawness of death, the bottomless grief of that mother, and complete unfairness of that death shocked me at the core. I felt a wave going through my body and it was all back. Intact. I just couldn't go on with that impossible frame of thinking that, that was it; that there was nothing beyond what I had in front of me. It all felt absurd. Ridiculous. 

Why did I want to continue this denial of believing again? My overthinking had cut me from my spiritual side but also from hope. It felt like being rewired into the eternal grid of humanity again. I once again felt that I was a tiny part of something larger than me. That actually everything that we do in life has a meaning & its importance at the scale it is. We are all interconnected. And we all fall within the scope of a particular journey with a particular purpose that is unique and personal to each of us. I felt a heavy weight being lifted off my shoulders and I felt, better than before, more able to connect with my grieving friend. And I prayed hard for him. I have never written about this topic as it is extremely personal and vulnerable, but I thought I should, in respect of the prompt but also because someone may relate to my experience.   

4) For those who follow me on Instagram, I have adopted a little kitten, Ginger. I had wanted to get one for 2 years and in the spring, I took the leap. I am truly happy I did. She's really a cool cat. She never damaged anything (and believe me, she could!!!), she does the best cuddles ever, and I feel more confident in myself now after several months spent with her. Maybe one day, I could have a child.... Who knows...



Voilà, for today! What about you? Anything you want to share from your heart?
Sabrina.