Creative Juices

A friend once asked me "How do you stay creative?" Something that I have noticed since I have been trying to be more consistent with my creative outlet, aka my blog, is that it is.. IMPOSSIBLE! Some weeks I could write five blog posts with ease and know exactly what photos to use and take. Other weeks it is kind of dull and I completely draw a blank on all fronts. Is it just me? If you are one of those people that forever reek of creativity I envy you. So yes on the weeks where I have got a million ideas, I push out as much content as possible. But what if that dull week goes way longer then your pre-done content can last? What happens when you are feeling uninspired but need to be? Well I've got four ways that help me keep those creative juices flowing. You just have to figure out what works for you.

1. Outer Sources Of Inspiration

We are so lucky to have apps like Pinterest and Instagram. These are an amazing source of inspiration. Looking through other people's creativity can sometimes inspire our own. Trigger an original idea or maybe a spin off of someone else's. Sometimes it can remind me of ideas I had forgotten. We can get so consumed with our way of thinking that we can put ourselves in a box. And eventually that box of ideas runs out. It can be refreshing to look to others and be inspired through them. I follow and support other bloggers who constantly breathe new life into me and my blog. 

2. Try Other Creative Mediums

I love to try different things. Whether it be music, dance, coloring, scrapbooking, makeup, cooking, just to name a few. None of these things necessarily correlate with my blog but I find I get inspired doing something creative that does not involve my go-to's of writing and photos. My latest project has been scrapbooking. I started a family scrapbook to give the kids something to the look at that is not on a screen. Have something to embarrass them with in the future. Brings up all the old feelings and memories. It has pushed me in a different way then the blog has. Which I really have enjoyed.

3. Learn Something New

Take a course. Or if that is out of your budget there are tons of free tutorials on YouTube. There is so much out there to improve your current skills. No matter what your outlet is there is always room to improve or new techniques to try. Maybe even bring you back to the basics and build off of those again in a new different way then before.

4. Walk Away

I know what you are thinking crappy advice but sometimes you just can't force a masterpiece. I am not saying walk away from it forever. Take a break. Go get a coffee or tea. Do something fun, hangout with friends. Take a walk. Shop in Michael's that whole store can inspire my most dullest of weeks. Shake up the routine! Get that shot of vanilla in your expresso or try the tea of the month. Take a different route for that walk. It doesn't have to be anything that big or drastic. Never know 'till you try right!?

I think what's most important is to not get down on ourselves. Creativity comes and goes for most of us. But don't give up, try something new! It may not come to all of us naturally but we can still have fun with our efforts. I'd love to know what works for you! What are ways you maintain and practice creativity?

Bell Let's Talk

I take a drag from the cigarette in my hand. As I slowly exhale, watching the smoke as it disappears into the dark night sky above me. I hear the chatter in the background but my focus is on the fat fluffy snowflakes falling down creating a beautiful white blanket over everything. My attention is snapped back when someone yells my name to come inside. When I get inside,  I run to the laptop on the table to put on another 90's R&B classic hit before being ushered to the kitchen to take another shot to celebrate one of my best friends birthdays. We all cheers! As I throw my head back, I hear someone's shot get knocked to the floor. I go to grab the mop from the hallway closest as someone instructs me to. My roommate grabs the mop before me and as she does a broom falls to the floor on top of my foot. Not even thinking I start attempting to kick it back into the closet. After the first failed attempt my drunk mind thought that was only due to not kicking it hard enough. So with that logic I kicked as hard as I could. The broom got stuck on something in the closet pushing me backwards and making me loose my balance. I watch the basement door knob come into sight and in my best efforts to attempt to grab it I fail miserably and hit the basement stairs in the perfect way to send me rolling backwards down them, collecting momentum as I go. I remember the faces looking helplessly at me before the final hit and everything went black.

I heard my name being screamed which pulled me out of the darkness and I opened my eyes to see all my friends crowded around me. I smiled. Fingers being thrust in my face asking me to count them. I did as they wished to ensure them that I was completely fine. I got up to look behind me realizing now what concerned them. The hole in the wall which my head had created seeing one sheet of drywall before the hard concrete behind it. But I was not going to let one little accident ruin the night so on I went without giving it so much as a thought.

It wasn't till about three weeks later that my manageable headache turned into a pain I could no longer ignore. It hurt to eat. It hurt to walk. It hurt to be at school with the noise. I decided it was time I look to professional help. I went to the walk-in clinic only to have the doctor put pressure on the spot I hit and tell me I was fine. Another week went by and still no relief so I decided to go to the hospital. I went twice, both times I was injected with steroids and freezing at the base of my neck and both times did not help give me any relief. I finally decided to call my parents and confess where my partying had got me. They bused me home where I got an MRI done and a serious consultation about my injury. I was diagnosed with a severe concussion. Which all you can do is rest. Dark room, no stimulation.

I don't remember when the pain subsided but I was left with serious anxiety in the end. I didn't know what that was at the time. I tried explaining it to my doctor as a gut feeling that something bad was going to happen but all the time. Or like I did something wrong and you get that terrible feeling of dread. I had that all the time. That injury altered my personality. I am more cautious now, not as easy going as I was before. Through the years I have learned not to trust that gut feeling anymore and ways to cope when I am facing it. Although that was years ago before I got married or had kids, I still have days and weeks where I feel it get the best of me and other weeks where I wonder if I have been cured. I know some people experience it in way higher extremes. That constant battle with your own mind trying to figure out what is real and what is false. Mental illness is terrifying and so hard to see in others. I thought I would share my story so that maybe someone else can relate. Or maybe a little insight why some weeks I am on top of the world and why other weeks I can't seem to shake it. What is your experience with mental illness? In my experience it has been easier to talk to people about how I came about getting it then when I am actually going through it.

So this Wednesday January 31st is Bell Let's Talk day. Time to start talking about mental illness. You can find all the ways that Bell is contributing to the cause here. Lots of helpful tips to educate and further grow our understanding. Trust me when I say it is not easy to but Let's Talk!

Content With The Now

I love me some goal planning. Planning my future and mapping out all the could be's. Lists on lists. I know this about myself. This part of me has been the driving force that has resulted in some big positive decisions in my life, marriage and even parenting. But I also know sometimes I can get carried away, idea after idea. Before I have even completed one thing, I'm already dreaming and plotting the next and the cycle goes on and on. I sometimes don't give things enough time to settle before I'm jumping on another band wagon.

I crave the ability to be content. To live in the now. To embrace the everyday moment of today. I'll be honest, this does not come naturally to me. Am I the only one who struggles with this? This week it has come to my attention that I might need to learn how. To take conscious bits of time out of my day until it does become natural. Because life is zooming by. When my attention is constantly on the future, I miss out on the joys of today.

This week I suddenly became more aware. Turns out Maeve only knows one line out of the 12 Days of Christmas and she really gives it all she's got. "FIVE GOLDEN RINGS!" Olive has been showing me all the ballet moves she has been practicing so that we will put her in lessons. Her determination is pretty cute, so I'll definitely will be looking into that this week. The moment I watched Maeve fall so hard and Olive ran to her side to comfort her. Watching Maeve play with the bathroom door every time Olive has to go and hear them bicker back and forth over it is hilarious. I took a night off the usual bath or TV routine and just talked with Rob. Realizing we both had so much to say. Seeing his face go from exhaustion to happiness as he walks in from a long day of work to see us.

This week I am learning that as much as I can be a dreamer and a planner it is also possible to be present and content with the now. I think of these little moments this past week and feel so much joy for where I am at right now. Although there is always room to grow and improve, this place feels so perfectly un-perfect.