Tag Archives: Inspiration

The 117th Day

4 Sep

“Do you write?” someone asked me today.

A few months ago, I would’ve mumbled a sorry excuse in answer to their question – something along the lines of “I love writing, but….”.

Today, I am able to say “Yes, I write. I write every day.”

This realisation hit me with shock, surprise and a feeling of immense well-being, like jumping into freezing water after a hot sauna.

I write! I said to myself.

I write every day! I exclaimed in my head, barely believing my own words.

I love writing and I write every day! I repeated over and over again.

I am no longer the girl who “does not have time to write”, or the girl who “has run out of inspiration”. I am no longer envying those with a regular writing practice or wondering when I’ll finally start creating something.

Now, I make time and I invite inspiration; I keep up a regular practice and I am creating every day.

Every day, I put pen to paper. Every day, I invent, or describe, or tell. Every day, I do what I love.

Achievement

NB: This is my 117th day of the 120-day “Do What You Love Challenge”.

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A Game of Tag

23 Jun

A while ago, Kate from The Phoenixplains invited me to join a game of tag, to which the rules are as follows:

1. You must post the rules.
2. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post and then create eleven new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged.
3. Tag eleven people and link to them on your post.
4. Let them know you’ve tagged them!

So, Kate, here are the answers to your interesting, although at times difficult, questions:

What one ‘need’ and one ‘want’ will you strive to achieve in the next twelve months?

Need: find a new job.
Want: find a job in editing/writing which fulfils me and in which I can learn many new skills.

What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?

At the moment, it is not other people’s judgement that is preventing me from doing certain things in life, but the financial means to do so. I would love to take a yoga teacher training course in Costa Rica, for example.

What three words would you use to describe the last three months of your life?

Challenging, confusing, instructive.

What makes you weird/interesting/different?

I always look at the time when the numbers are matching, for example at 23.23.

If you could do it all over again, would you change anything?

No, because I learnt a lot from it all!

What small act of kindness were you once shown that you will never forget?

It was a situation in which a sick person was paying more attention to the health and well-being of those around her than to her own situation. Her deep care and altruism brought tears to my eyes, and I will never forget that even when we are in difficult situations, we must nevertheless continue to show love and care to those around us.

If you were forced to eliminate every physical possession from your life with the exception of what could fit into a single backpack, what would you put in it?

Apart from the essentials, such as basic clothes, money, a mobile phone, toothbrush etc., I would also put in my backpack my camera, my favourite jewellery, a pen and notebook, a poetry book, a few photos of my family and friends, playing cards, an address book and an umbrella.

What have you read online recently that inspired you?

In this post I discovered an amazing French song (video with English subtitles below).

If you could take a single photograph of your life, what would it look like?

Front plan: my sibling and I sticking out our tongues to the camera. Background: my mum and grandparents in the garden, looking at us and laughing.

What are you most grateful for?

The wonderful family and friends I have.

What is the simplest truth you can express in words?

Everything is perfect, even the shitty parts.

***

Here are my own 11 questions:

  1. What books have changed your life?
  2. What project would you start if you knew you couldn’t fail?
  3. When I say “time”, you say……
  4. Which well-known person is an inspiration to you and why?
  5. Which motto or theory do you love but find difficult to put into practice?
  6. If you could introduce a new subject to be taught to school-children in your country, what subject would you introduce?
  7. What activity always lifts your spirits and puts you in a good mood?
  8. What is the most challenging thing in your life at the moment?
  9. What are your favourite three quotes?
  10. Is there a song that captures your views/beliefs/thoughts on life?
  11. Which fellow blogger would you like to meet in real life?

I tag:

  1. A story of Light
  2. BA Expat
  3. Based on a True Story
  4. My Life in Colour
  5. The Sister Hawk Blog
  6. 6 Months to Live
  7. Shining Soul Yoga
  8. Life as I See It
  9. Love is the Answer
  10. Walter Bright
  11. My Sardinian Life

Looking forward to discovering your answers!

120 Day “Do What You Love Challenge”

24 May

Two weeks ago I signed up to the 120 Day “Do What You Love Challenge”, choosing writing as my daily activity (this includes poetry, blogging, articles, short stories, songs etc.).

I decided to take the challenge for several reasons. Despite loving writing I:

  • do not write regularly
  • feel guilty spending time writing
  • do not consider writing as an ‘important’ or ‘useful’ activity

Yet despite all of this I:

  • wish I could spend more time writing
  • feel unfulfilled when I do not write for a long stretch of time
  • always have writing on my mind

Quite a paradox, isn’t it?

Just like Pollyanna Darling says – we often feel guilty doing what we love, because doing what we love has no goal apart from enjoying ourselves and feeling happy. We have become used to doing activities that bring a certain visual or material result, and we think that everything else is ‘pointless’ or ‘a waste of time’.

Indeed, writing won’t make the house cleaner and it won’t speed up the flat-hunting. Writing won’t give me a pedicureWriting in notebook on footsteps and it won’t find me a new flat. Writing won’t fill out the forms I have to send and it won’t buy me summer clothes.

BUT…it won’t get in the way of me doing those things, either.

I seem to have always had the false belief that in spending some time writing, I was choosing writing – a ‘pointless’ activity – over another – ‘useful’ – activity. After two weeks of writing every day, I realised that it is not a question of choosing one activity over the other, it is a question of making time for both.

Although I’ve only been spending ten to thirty minutes writing per day, I feel more fulfilled and calmer. I’ve seen that I have enough ideas to produce something every day and that every day brings new ideas. I’ve also started writing poetry again – something that I had abandoned for many years, giving the excuse that I was ‘not inspired’.

Perhaps it wasn’t inspiration I was lacking all along, but the courage to do what I love…

Confessions of a Book Abuser

3 Mar

I can hear them mocking me as I walk past.

“She only bought me because I was pretty.”

“She bought me because I have a good reputation.”

“She picked me because I won a prize.”

“She took me because I was cheap.”

These are my books, taunting me daily with the truth.

“She hasn’t even read any of us!” exclaims one.

“No, she just likes to have us on show,” puts in another.

“Well, I don’t mind. I’m better off on her shelves than in a box in the attic,” confesses a third.

“Good for you! But I’m adored by millions across the world and she hasn’t even read my blurb yet!” bursts out a fourth.

I admit it – I completely mistreat my books. Firstly, I buy them, giving them the (false) hope that they now have a caring new owner. I put them on my shelves and for the first week or so I look at them lovingly, giving them the (once again, false) impression that I will soon be taking them to the park, to bed or on holiday with me. I then leave them gathering dust for months, or years, and finally, realising that they are taking up too much space, give them away. I’m surprised that I haven’t been reported to the police yet, despite all these years of book-abuse.

I realised recently that the possession of so many unread books goes completely against my (or should I say, Dominique Loreau’s) Art of the Essential theory: keep a material possession only if you need it or love it.

At the moment, I own books because they look good on my shelves. They decorate my apartment and fill up empty space. They also do what all material possessions do – or, what we want our material possessions to do – they reflect some sort of trait in the owner. In the same way as people buy expensive watches to show to the world that they have a well-paid and important job, or a designer bag to show wealth, or an exclusive penthouse to show success, many people own large quantities of books to “prove” their intelligence.

Many of us put up hundreds of books on our shelves, in a visible place, to persuade ourselves and others that we are well-educated and well-cultured. After all, there’s not a more effective or quicker way of summarising our tastes, our beliefs and our persuasions than by a carefully-chosen book collection. Our visible book collections are a way of saying “I read and own (insert author/poet/philopher’s name), therefore I am (insert adjective)”.

In a lot of cases, a large book collection does not mean that its owner is a book-lover, but, on the contrary – a book-abuser. S/he uses books as mere tools to build up a reputation or a self-image, which is, in most cases, a false reflection of reality. For example, despite owning a few hundred books, I read little, and often feel that I have a very limited knowledge of literature.

In truth, knowledge and culture have nothing to do with the quantity of books we own and display. My grandparents, who have been avid readers their whole lives, only own about fifty books between them – they carry their favourite stories, ideas and quotes in their minds. What’s more, they keep the books that they do own in a closed cupboard; my grandma was shocked to hear that my own books stand in open shelves, where they “can gather dust and be damaged by sunlight”. To her, “books are for reading, not for displaying”.

I have decided that I shall not buy or borrow any books until I have read all those that are currently on my shelves. I shall keep a book only if I love it or need it for future reference, and I will use the library, not Amazon, whenever I am in need of inspiration and enlightenment. I shall use books for their original purpose – education, inspiration and entertainment – rather than the decorative purpose that they have been given.

My book-abusing days are over and my books shall gather dust no more!

 

***

Do you store unread or unnecessary books on your shelves?

Do you tend to keep books because they ‘look good’, even though they no longer serve you?

If you own very few books, what are you criteria for the ones you do choose to keep?

Life Loves You

3 Jan

“Last year had many restrictions, and it took hard work and diligence to build the foundations you desired. This year you will find much more freedom. Welcoming change will allow your boundaries to expand. Let the old ideas go, and do something different or unusual. Always remember that Life loves you and will support you in all your endeavors. The year 2012 can be a very satisfying one.”

Louise L. Hay
I can Do It

Holding sun between fingers