The other day, a creative spark flew through my mind so quickly I almost didn’t catch it. Then, later that morning, it came back again. And then again, until I finally decided this spark was worth investigating.
In her book “Big Magic,” Elizabeth Gilbert talks about these creative sparks. She says they’ll stick with you for a finite period of time. If you choose not to acknowledge them, they’ll leave you and find another creative who will bring them to life.
What was my spark, you ask? Great question. Let me tell you.
A Love + Gratitude Journal.
When I started my transformational journey over two years ago, I was at a really low point in my life. I didn’t realize it at the time. In fact, it’s only through my rising that I can see how low I really was. During that time, I did two things religiously:
- I meditated daily and then reflected on my meditation via a written love letter to myself.
- I made daily entries in a gratitude journal. I started with 3 entries per day. In the beginning, I was grateful for waking up, getting out of bed and actually showing up to work. Now, I find it hard to choose only three items for which I’m grateful. Read about gratitude practice.
As I’ve shared my story of struggles and overcoming with people I’ve encountered on my travels, those two practices became a consistent part of my conversation. Together, they were very transformational for me. They shifted my perspective on life, people, and love in a way I didn’t know I needed. I’ve recommended everyone try these two things for just a week and see what happens. Literally. Everyone. Low and behold, a few beautiful souls actually followed through. And they loved it.
So when the creative spark hit me to combine my two practices into one simple journal, I listened. And, I started designing.
Why combine the two? Also a good question.
Have you ever heard this quote?
Watch your thoughts; they become your words. Watch your words; they become your actions. Watch your actions; they become your habits. Watch your habits; they become your character. Watch your character for it becomes your destiny.
That quote is so true. As humans, and women especially, we are SO hard on ourselves. If we can’t show love and kindness toward ourselves, how are we supposed to share it with our kids, spouses, co-workers, the world? We can’t. Our emotional piggy bank is depleted and needs to be filled again.
By consistently writing yourself a love letter, you are able to recognize patterns in your self-talk. What I learned about myself was astonishing. I had doubts and fears. I didn’t believe in my abilities or self-worth. I wasn’t good enough. Skinny enough. Strong enough. Smart enough.
Typically, your inner dialogue reflects what you project outwardly onto others. I doubted people, had trust issues, was always trying to prove something to someone or myself. When I began to shift my inner dialogue and was kinder to myself, the dialogue with others began to shift as well.
So how does gratitude fit it? In the beginning, when I was hard on myself, I had a woe-is-me attitude. Nothing was right in my life. It felt like everything I’d worked for and dreamed of was falling apart. I was barely staying afloat.
At the recommendation of a friend, I decided to change my perspective rather than perpetuate this negative spiral. Instead of seeing lack, where could I see abundance? I started with three items a day and now, as I said, find it hard to stop at just three. In a world where things may seem to be going wrong, so much is going right. And even those wrong things were, and still are, putting me on the right path.
For me, the process (that I still practice while traveling) lead to self-realization, acknowledgment of my habits and negative self-talk, and then a major shift in my perspective. After, I noticed I was more optimistic, I felt comfortable in my own skin, I took chances and quit letting fear control me. It was literally life-changing.
I had so much fun creating the pieces in the photos. I designed and hand-stitched each of those puppies with love in hopes they can help spread love, light, and inspiration to those around me. A handful of my closest friends and family will be receiving them as a belated Christmas – happy 2018 gift from me. Together, one love letter at a time, I hope we can raise the vibrations of ourselves and those we encounter. Want to join us? Let me know and I’ll send you one too.
With love + gratitude,
“Do whatever brings you to life, then. Follow your own fascinations, obsessions, and compulsions. Trust them. Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear