Saturday: SLUMP ALERT!

I haven’t published a daily blog post since Wednesday and WOW. I’m shocked that I let so much slip my mind but what can I say? Now I’m on vacation, and my laziness has shot up. I have a few days off and I intend to use them well. Here are a few bullet points about what’s been going on in my world these days.

  • I’ve started a new novel project and I’m working deeply in the outlining phase as well as studying relevant works of fiction. This has occupied a lot of my mental space and I’ve become OBSESSED with world-building.

  • The craziest thing about writing slumps is that the last thing you feel like doing is almost always the best thing you can do. Write more! Today, I’ve been feeling agitated and uncomfortable even after my morning meditation. This sucks. A lot. So I’ve decided to apply my anxious energy into this blog and I feel much better. (Here’s my new “long form” post.)

  • My book idea has taken up so much of my time that I’ve barely been reading the past week. It’s shameful! I hope when I travel (which is soon) I get to stock up on some delicious new reads.

  • I’ve been excited to make time for my meditation habit lately because one thing that no one tells you is that the cumulative effect of meditation makes a BIG difference. For example, meditating 20 minutes once a week is so much less effective than meditating 2 minutes every day. I wish I’d known that before because feeling guilty for not doing enough (LOL) meditation has always been a BIG thing for me.

  • I’ve slowed down on my drawing the past couple of days and I’m in a complete shame spiral about it. I know, I know. There are ways to pull myself out of this. Don’t even talk for my photography slump. It’s messing with my head!

  • Unrelated but: WHY on earth do people ask redheads if the “curtain matches the drapes”? What barn were you raised in to think that’s an appropriate question?

  • Today, I’ve been working on a scene weave but went on a long drive. I’m tired now so going to end this post! Sorry!

Saturday: 7 Ideas For Self-Care Saturdays

It’s Saturday, and for the first time all week, I’ve done my hair, putting in little braids and tying them to my scalp. I’m relieved as I finger detangle my hair and coat it with some Cantu potion before tying it up. I realize that I haven’t done anything this soothing all week outside of my short daily meditation practice. Self-care doesn’t cost anything, and it shouldn’t. I sit with the same cup of coffee that I have every morning and take an extra moment to taste the notes on the medium roast. I jot down ideas in my journal, and check my sales just once before moving on to personal projects.

One of the reasons I enjoy writing and working from home in general is the time I get on the weekends to check in and take care of myself. At the end of the day, no amount of work, money, drama, or stress is worth our peace of mind. Here are five of my favorite ways to recharge on the weekend (and this time, I won’t include meditation, which I still love).

1) Take a really long time to get ready for my day

When I’m working during the week, I usually get up early and quickly brush my teeth, shower and change into my clothes. On the weekend, I slow everything down to a snail’s pace and take my time getting ready. I also do “extra” things to pamper myself like doing my hair, or giving myself a neck massage.

2) Read an interesting book

I’m typically reading something interesting, and I like to make progress on the weekends because I have a lot of uninterrupted time to read. I’ve been reading a book about the history of Washington DC recently, and really enjoy reading books on history, psychology, and politics in general.

3) Shut my phone off & go outside

I love stepping away from my laptop and phone on the weekends, especially because I’m forced to spend so much time on them during the week. Especially since I’m in the Caribbean, I like doing something outdoors on the weekend whether that’s the Castries market, heading to the beach, or going for a long walk with my fiancé.

4) Bake bread

I love baking, but recently, I’ve been into baking bread and find kneading my dough unreasonably therapeutic. My fiancé doesn’t complain about the rolls, and I lose tension in my neck. Win win!

5) Visit family members

Sometimes visiting my family members doesn’t recharge me, but even introverted people need to socialize, and connect with their communities. While I truly love time by myself, visiting family can give me an added boost of encouragement and connectedness.

6) Research creative projects on Pinterest

Recently, I’ve been researching helpful drawing tutorials and story references for books, but there are all types of projects I research on the weekends. Some times, I obsess over the aesthetics of place settings, or find motivational quotes to post during the week, or I just learn from infographics and other blog posts. The key is to approach this with intention and purpose so that it’s not mindlessly scrolling through social media.

7) Take things really slow

I tend to be an anxious, harried individual, so on the weekends I do my best not to rush anything. I take my time to cook, to draw, to exercise, to relax, to play, and enjoy a few hours without the weight of obligations pressing on me. I really appreciate the time to slow down.

What do you do for self-care on the weekends? Put how you recharge in the comments below.

Saturday: Am I Ready?

Creatives love the excuse of “not being ready” to start something. We will go over in our heads hundreds if not thousands of times the many ways we need to improve, change and lead all before getting started. Fear paralyzes in these occasions and we convince ourselves that we “aren’t ready” and back this up with every excuse under the sun that we can think of.

How do you know that you are ready to start something new?

The idea of failing is what holds us back. We don’t want to pick up the paintbrush because we fear that what we create will be ugly. We consider this to be a failure. But what we consider failure doesn’t have to be viewed this way. “Failure” is just information — it’s data guiding our next move. Creativity is an iterative process and “failure” only represents one iteration of many. You’re “ready” once you accept this!

You’re ready when you’ve allowed yourself creative space to define your value. Another fear creatives internalize is the fear of disappointing others. As social creatures, it’s natural for human beings to seek some approval. If for example, you strive to create content online, approval can be a literal measure of your value. However this unhealthy belief equates one measure of value with overall quality and your personal value. Approval of any kind is information too.

Fellow creatives and social media experts give advice to content creators that doesn’t help either. Telling someone to “add value” to their audience is meaningless since everyone defines value differently. You are “ready” when you acknowledge that social approval and “likes” are not the sole determinants of value. Other forms of social approval can be equally unhelpful — the feedback of naysayers and envious people comes to mind.

You are ready when you can “let go” of the outcome of your creative process. This doesn’t mean not to plan or to abandon outlines or anything of that nature. Letting go means accepting the ups and downs of the creative process without allowing it to push you off your path. When you are ready to never give up regardless of the outcome, you’re ready to dive into a new creative pursuit.

We all need these reminders as some point or another. If you’re a creative, author, content creator, poet, dancer or artist, what advice has helped you best tap into your creativity? Post in the comments below. 👇🏼

Saturday: Assertiveness & Conflict

Women are trained from early in life to avoid conflict. We are the ones who make peace, the ones most often tasked with forgiveness. The labor of virtue falls on women while men, who are still upheld as more virtuous since Eve are the apple and all that, are allowed the freedom to leave that box of politeness and engage in both assertiveness and conflict.

Despite our conditioning, women must survive in a world where a lack of assertiveness can kill you. Just read The Gift of Fear by Gavin De Becker for first hand examples of assertiveness saving women’s lives while “politeness” and a fear of being disliked became some women’s undoing.

I would love to live in a world where women didn’t have to expand a Herculean amount of effort not to get trampled on. Yet that’s not the world we live in…

Where can women draw the line between assertiveness and aggression? Should our primary concerns be drawing this line at all before we have achieved our full potential of assertiveness?

Being a strong and assertive woman comes with so many labels. One of my favorite women who speaks about some of these labels is Tabatha Coffey, celebrity hair stylist and entrepreneur who has reclaimed the word “BITCH” which has been weaponized against her in a male dominated world. Her philosophy is that a part of assertiveness is being unapologetic about who you are.

If women spent more time asserting ourselves instead of hiding our needs and fearing being disliked, would our lives be any different? Would your life be different? Assertiveness saves women’s lives. Assertiveness empowers women in a real way to take control of our lives and embody the true strength which comes from self-efficacy in looking after your own interests.

Are you an assertive person? What scares you most about being assertive? Drop a comment down below. Seriously, every comment makes a difference and I want to hear your thoughts. Don’t worry about having something “good enough” to say, your opinion is enough.

📌Pin my “assertiveness reminder” graphic below to your favorite Pinterest board for motivation. 💪🏼 Us strong women can only make progress by sticking together and talking about these issues.

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