Monday, 26 January 2015

Never Compare - Monday Motivation 26/01/2015

Have you seen this saying floating around the internet before? I sure have. I always glanced over it, not giving it much thought, until recently.

For some reason, I always thought it referred to relationships, love stories. The saying brought to mind images of princesses and princes and perfect love story endings. It reminded me to not compare my grandparents’ 53 year marriage to the beginning of my relationship. While that is an important reminder in itself, that every story ha a different path to follow, it was only recently that I realized I had analysed the saying all wrong.

I have been spending a lot of time lately thinking about my life, my vision, my dreams, and it was during these musings that the saying ‘Never compare your chapter one with somebody else’s chapter 20’ received new meaning for me.

Have you thought of the people you admire in your career, in your hobbies, in your everyday life? The people who inspire and motivate you?  The people you aspire to be? The ones who are at the top of their game?  Looking at the people who are doing what I want to do lead me to think about where they started. The blogs that I follow which now have thousands of readers, must have started out with only a few loyal readers. The Facebook pages I interact with regularly, must have had only a few ‘likes’ when they began. The motivational books that I've read started as dusty manuscripts.

The difference between those people, and me, is merely time. With perseverance and hard work, I could achieve what they have mastered. If I fill out the blank pages in the novel of my life, eventually my chapter 20 will look like their chapter 20. The difference doesn't lie in how our stories start, it lies in the time and effort that we put into them to get to where we want to be.

So, don't focus on the people who already have achieved everything you want to achieve. Everyone's story has a different path to follow. Concentrate on your own journey, plan how to work yourself to the top, but never compare your beginning to someone else's ending.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Searching for Inspiration

In all my talk and plans of creating and writing, there is something that I really struggle with; Inspiration. I am so caught up in daily life that I struggle to find things to write about. not only on my blog, but in the creative writing I want to do in my spare time too. I have always loved writing, from essays to short stories to poetry, I was writing through most of High school. After high school, I seem to have encountered a block, my creativity seems to have died...

I know it sounds silly, but I feel as if I am missing an essential part of who I am. It is something that I have noticed all the more over the past 2 years or so, and something that I am determined to recover in 2015. I think a lot of it stems from fear, fear of disapproval, fear of disappointment. I have been through a lot emotionally over the past few years and I feel that most of the block stems from that. I let the wrong people have the wrong amount of influence in my life, and in an effort to keep them happy, I killed off one of the most important parts of who I am.

In an effort to combat that, I have started journaling again. I figure the more I write, the easier it will become to write. Like anything in life, writing takes practise. Any form of art does. Michelangelo, Shakespeare, Da Vinci, they all had to start somewhere. And, they also all struggled with some form of writer's block too. In fact, I came across this cute video of Shakespeare overcoming his writer's block which I think we can all relate to in some way.

In the end, I think inspiration is something that we need to find within us. It is the stories and ideas, millions of endless possibilities, that we all have the ability to bring to fruition. Sometimes, it is a roaring waterfall, that picks us up and sweeps us away, but most times, it is a small, quiet trickle, one that we search for like a dying man in a desert, but always, it is the power within us, to create, to inspire, to dream, and to hope.

Go out there, and be inspired.

And remember, happiness is a choice.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Monday Motivation - Let's start 2015 off right!

Wow... today is the 5th of January 2015.... How did that happen???

The last few months of 2014 flew by in a blur! Life got in the way of everything I had planned, there was so much going on... Writing (everywhere except here!) , end of year school functions for both boys, a 3 week visit from my dad (which was wonderful!), a weekend getaway, a family day, and then of course work and freelancing! Add to that Christmas, school vacation, and a birthday getaway, and you'll (hopefully) understand why I've been so quiet! Hopefully, that is all going to get better this year!

I don't like the term "New Year's Resolutions".... It seems so formal and rigid. I have no name for the exercise I do at the end of every year, no brilliant term to group my decision under. I like to take a list of things I would like to focus on for the coming year; areas that I feel I didn't excel in in the previous year that I would like to pour more energy into. This year, my list contains only 3 items:

  • Family ( Me and my loved ones, from eating better to getting more exercise)
  • Friends ( Cultivating new friendships in 2015, and strengthening the friendships that helped carry me through 2014)
  • Making time for the things that make me happy ( From hobbies to family time, I need to carve out time for the things that feed my soul)
Have you watched the movie "Mom's Night Out"? In it, husband Sean (played by Sean Astin) convinces his wife Allyson to go out on a much needed Mom's night out. He uses a beautiful analogy about a flight attendant who tells you that in an emergency, you first have to put on your own oxygen mask before you can help other people put on theirs. That is what this blog is for me, my oxygen mask.

I think we tend to get so caught up in our every day lives, so focused on the routine of scraping through every day, that we forget that we are on this earth to do more! We are here to experience, to live, to love, to laugh, to rejoice, not to rush from one day to the next, merely surviving instead of living.

I'd like to invite you all to focus on one thing that makes you happy, whether it be cooking, or reading, or simply sitting in the sun, and find ways to incorporate more of that in your life. Set aside time, write it in your diary, set a reminder on your phone, whatever it takes, but grant yourself that time to do what feeds your soul. Especially as mothers, we tend to put everyone else's needs above our own. Make this your year, invest in yourself, put on your own oxygen mask first, and make this year about you!

And remember, happiness is a choice :)