I follow a lot of artists on Instagram, as their work often inspires me during my frequent periods of social media scrolling. One woman whose posts I always look forward to is Australian artist, Laura Blythman. Laura’s colorful art and collages are quirky and fun — it’s hard not to fall in love with the gorgeous pieces she creates. Today, I wanted to share a few of my favorites. I hope her work inspires you as much as it does me!
I never used to consider myself a worry wart, and most of the time, I still don’t. But as I get older, I feel myself becoming more anxious about the possibilities of the future. After graduating college, I remember my biggest revelation being something quite simple: anything can happen now. In school, life feels very systematic. But after I graduated and moved to Japan, I realized that the Real World lacked that same consistency — anything was possible, both good and bad.
I still aim to be optimistic about the future, and generally have positive thoughts about what might happen in my life. But from time-to-time I find myself getting worried, especially with friendships, relationships, and perhaps most considerably in terms of my dog. I’ve never had a “child” to take care of, so I’m always thinking about his safety and well-being. Though I don’t always show it, I have a deep sense of worry about what could happen to him — or maybe more realistically, what would happen to me if something happened to him.
The problem with worrying is that the things we worry about almost never even happen. It’s like we create an alternate reality where only the negative possibilities occur. And yet, that reality only exists because we made it so. I find strength in knowing that I have an unrelenting power to squash those fears and lean in hard to the positive circumstances of my actual, waking life.
Earlier this year, I read Brené Brown’s Daring Greatly (my review here!). Her phenomenal book centered on how we can go “all in” in our lives, which usually means allowing ourselves to be vulnerable. In her book, she explains that we can’t love anyone or anything with all our heart if we allow fear any place in our relationships. If we’re worrying about what might happen — death, betrayal, etc. — then we’re not opening ourselves up completely, for fear that sharing that final piece of ourselves will destroy us if shit really does end up hitting the fan. But Brené argues that giving your whole self is the only way to build truly meaningful relationships and experiences. In her words, “There is no intimacy without vulnerability.”
Now, I don’t want to leave you with these thoughts without a solution. And lucky for the both of us, this one is simple. When you’re feeling that sense of worry, then the best thing you can do is replace it with gratitude. Be grateful for the moment you are given right now. Cherish the ones in your life, even if they may not be there next year. When someone gives you a piece of themselves, take it. Devour it. Be grateful that is was given to you, rather than fearful it may one day be taken away.
In Cheryl Strayed’s Tiny Beautiful Things, she says, “It’s gratitude that you should be feeling in place of jealousy and insecurity and fear. I encourage you to reach for that gratitude. It’s located just a stretch beyond the ‘crazed fire’ that’s burning in your head. Let yourself be gutted. Let it open you. Start there.”
Where will you start today, friend? What worries will you replace with gratitudes?
(photo via Tumblr)
Hey there and welcome to Weekly Wishes, where I talk about the goals or challenges I want to achieve this week and also let you share your own through the link-up below. I’d love for you to join me and add a link to your own goal-oriented post! It’s a great way to make new friends from around the world and gain some motivation to achieve your weekly aspirations.
Happy Monday! I had a pretty laid back weekend filled with some movie watching (check out my thoughts on Boyhood), puppy cuddling, and shopping. As for September, it feels like it went by in a minute! Some highlights from the month were discovering a huge, nearby park with Monja, going to the Chinese Moon Festival in LA, painting (and actually enjoying the results!), going to Salvation Mountain + East Jesus, and opening up contributor applications here at TNC (did you apply yet?!)
Now that September is almost out of the picture, I am SUUPER excited for October to start! October is my favorite month of the year — there’s something about chilly weather and Halloween decorations that just feels like home to me. Monja’s birthday is also in October (two more weeks!!) and I can’t wait to celebrate when he turns two. My little critter is growing up! You can check out his first birthday party here. :) Any fun ideas on how to celebrate a dog’s birthday?
How was your September?
I didn’t create monthly goals for September because I revamped my yearly goals instead. So we’ll just dive right into this month’s wishes!
This Month’s Wishes
- Hire some awesome contributors! I spent a long while going through each application last night (there’s still time to apply, don’t worry!), and I’m looking forward to finding a few contributors and building more of a team-like setting here.
- Plan something special for Monja’s birthday. I can’t wait to celebrate this dog. He means so SO much to me and I’d love for him to have a really fun, awesome day. A few days after his birthday, we’re also going to Corgi Beach Day. The theme is Halloween, so I’m on the hunt for a cute costume! Any cute dog costumes you know of?
- Make real progress on my eCourse. Over the past couple months, I’ve watched this idea morph from one thing to another several times. It feels organic and necessary to keep changing minor details, but now that I feel like I have a solid grasp on what I want it to look like, I hope to make some serious progress on content and getting it out there.
- Plan our trip to Portland! In early November, Paul and I are going to travel to Portland for a few days. We’re both really excited and love planning things — it’ll be so fun!
What are you wishing for this month?
WEEKLY WISHES LINKUP RULES
1. Share your posts about your goals, challenges, or wishes for the week, month, year, decade, whatever! Entries completely unrelated to the theme or linked to your homepage will be deleted.
2. Link back to this site so others can get their goal-setting on, too! You can use the button below if you’d like!
<div align="center"><a href="http://thenectarcollective.com/tags/weekly-wishes/" title="The Nectar Collective" target="_blank"><img src="http://thenectarcollective.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Weekly-Wishes-Button.jpg" alt="The Nectar Collective" style="border:none;" /></a></div>
3. You can link up your posts on any day of the week, but the most common day to do so is Monday. :)
4. THE MOST IMPORTANT RULE OF ALL! You MUST visit the person’s blog who linked up directly before you and leave them a motivating comment. This is such an important part of this linkup! We are each here to encourage each other and build a community of determined women and friends. :) If you do not do this, your post will be deleted from the link-up.
p.s. Oooonnne more day to enter this cute giveaway with Too Wrapped Up! Check it out.