Finding & Honoring My Inspirations
What Inspires Me
If you read Chic & Green last Friday, you'll recall me telling you about an online book club I joined for bloggers. It's to discuss the Gail McMeekin book, The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women.
Last week was week 1, and the first chapter's "secret" was devoted to acknowledging our creative selves. Our book discussion for participating bloggers involved describing the ways we acknowledge our creativity.
Today we're discussing Chapter 2 in the book, which is about honoring our inspirations.
Many lessons were discussed and a couple truly stuck a chord with me.
The importance of having the proper time and surroundings to capture those things from which we gain inspiration are key to being inspired.
That immediately hit home. Sitting in our bed at night while Tom is downstairs watching sports is my time. I like to sit with my journal or my books with a cup of hot tea and enjoy the momentary sense of calm and serenity. I have 2 rambunctious children--both boys (3 and 5)--and privacy and a sense of calm are true commodities in this house.
My own little corner of the living room is also where my creativity is nurtured. My space involves my computer, washed sage green desk (I painted an antique piece and added green crystal reproduction knobs to it), and satin buttetin board adorned with items I gain inspiration from. I like to look at my board because it is a reflection of me. Sometimes when feel I am losing a sense of who I am amid the daily chaos, I look at my bulletin board and feel connected to me again.
What's on my board?
On it you'll find a handmade watercolor greeting card of a teapot. I bought this in Savannah 7 and a half years ago. A bookmark with china teacups is on the board. It says "Faith, Hope and Love...the Greatest of these is Love." I bought that at a little bookstore in Savannah as well. It inspired me then because it's part of the verse read by my brother at our wedding and because it has teacups on it. I adore collecting bone china teacups. There's also a beautiful card with a note written to me many years ago by my old friend, Annette. An elegant notecard from Laura, my sister in-law also hangs on this board.
A couple of the handmade greeting cards I made when I sold greeting cards on Etsy in my candle & card shop (before I reopened my facial shop) adorn the board. One card in particular made me smile. I took it down so no one could buy it and it has hung on my board ever since. I also have two ACEO mini prints of 2 different Starbucks drinks from a lovely artist on Etsy--it's my visual coffee fix.
The last item on my bulletin board (besides a great picture of my smiling boys) is a card with the Reiki principles. Long-time readers know that I became a Reiki Master/Teacher 3 years ago. Reiki is incredibly grounding and calming for me. It allows me to become completely in touch with my emotions and senses. Seeing those principles reminds me of the way I try to live my live each and every day.
Finding inspiration through my boys
My children are always my biggest inspirations. Hearing my children laugh frees me. When they are laughing and playing, I can just sit here and feel their energy and it just awakens something inside me. The boys are so creative in their play. Today they were playing with their Thomas trains and they spent 3 hours on the floor with their 40+ trains role playing a birthday party for Thomas and the journey along the rails to reach their destination. I was in awe--the way I continue to be each and every day watching them grow.
Their creativity is like a little jolt to my creative self telling me to take chances and see things in a different light. Some of my best ideas for my business actually come while I am sipping a cup of tea on the sofa curled up with my journal watching Nick and Ben play.
Writing as a form of inspiration
I started Chic & Green in July of 2007. I started it as an outlet to express myself because I was at a bit of a crossroads in my life. I was unhappy, overwhelmed, and I had lost all sense of myself trying to please everyone else.
When you're unhappy and are tapped out of all of your energy and feel as though you have nothing left to give of yourself and REALIZE it, it is one of the greatest gifts you can ever receive. After I started Chic & Green, I realized how much I missed writing. I used to love writing. I wrote as a freelance reporter for the Times for a couple of years while I was in high school This is a great weekly paper in Wayne County, and I loved every minute of it. With the exception of writing the typical college papers, I just stopped writing--something I had a real love of doing.
I didn't write again until 1998 when my Grandma died and I wrote her eulogy. After that painful experience, I put the pen down again. My dad told me when I was in my 20s that I should write about cosmetics and ingredients because I had such a strong interest in them and knowledge of them. I laughed at that and still didn't write after 1998. The next time I wrote something was the eulogy for my father's funeral in 2005. I wrote one for me to read in NY for his private funeral and then for a colleague at the newspaper to read on my behalf at his large public funeral in Fargo. By then I had almost begun to associate writing with pain and sorrow.
When I was at the crossroads in 2007, something inside me just said "WRITE", that it would be therapeutic. I didn't have a clear focus at all for this blog when I started it. I didn't even have a name for it for a couple weeks other than "Karley's blog."
I took my dad's advice from many years before. I decided I would write about things I am knowledgable about, believe in, and enjoy. I did just that and it changed my life because I started honoring my inspirations. This was the point that started me on the path of cherishing my creativity.
Finding Inspiration Through Chic & Green
I am inspired by the talented women business owners, writers, and readers I have met through writing Chic & Green.
I am inspired by the beauty of the objects featured in Chic & Green. How do I pick the items featured in this Indie shopping blog? Quite frankly, the items of beauty featured in Chic & Green speak to me. Yesterday, I featured some bold jewelry from Mia Bella Collection. I was thinking about what drew me in to each particular piece. The pieces are feminine in terms of the colors used. They are things of beauty and are delicate. On the other hand, they are strong and bold. They make a statement. Sometimes I feel that way--that as a business woman, I have to balance being strong and level-headed with bold ideas with being the emotional, sometimes delicate person I am. The jewelry represents something fragile yet strong at the same time.
I find great inspiration each day of my life. Sounds inspire me. Scents inspire me. The beautiful things I see each day inspire me. People inspire me. Inspiration is all around, and when you acknowledge the things that make YOU feel inspired, it can introduce you to a whole new world of thinking and feeling--of feeling more in tune with your sense of creativity.
After reading the passage on the need for a sanctuary, it is clear that I need that for myself. At night I spend lots of time with my books and my journal upstairs while Tom is watching tv. After making every other room of our home the way I want it, I realized that I haven't made our room a sanctuary in terms of things I find inspiring. I decided to start with the bedding. I bought a beautiful new quilt and sheet set this week after browsing ones that inspired me with its beauty. I want the perfect place, a true sanctuary for me to get away and have time to myself. I am putting a large basket of things I find beautiful right on my side of the bed as well. This is a work in progress, but an assignment I gave myself--being in a beautiful room will inspire me as I sit with my journal at night.
Next Week: Chapter 3 focuses on Following Your Fascinations. I look forward discussing this with my fellow blogging book club members.