Monthly Archives: September 2015

First month of being back home

26th September 2015

It’s been one month since we have returned home from a year and half of travelling around the world. I thought it was going to be hard to get settled back down into ‘normal’ life again, how wrong was I!

I am LOVING being back at home. I am loving being back in Edinburgh. I am loving staying in one place and nesting. I think it helps that it’s September and I naturally want to start nesting come autumn. One of the things I discovered about myself in our travelling was that I need autumn. Last year, we spent all of autumn season in warmer countries and never really went through autumn. I felt totally off-kilter because I missed out on autumn. I intensely missed seeing the leaves turn into rich yellows and vivid reds.

Life at home has been surprisingly busy. It’s good to be busy rather than have too much time and start missing being on the move. There has been a lot of changes to our lives at home this month, all good and very exciting.

My own studio

Converted a living room into a studio.

The first thing we did when we got home was to convert the living room into my studio, proper. I am in love with this room. I get up at 5:30am each day to write, but when I get to be in THIS room, I don’t mind. I feel at home most when I am surrounded by bookcases. It’s lovely to have all my filled journals out on bookshelves too. There is something so inspiring about seeing all your filled journals. It inspires me to write even more.

A bigger journal

Going back to a larger notebook - Leuchtturm1917.

A nice side effect of not having to live out of a 30 litre backpack is that I can choose to use bigger things! I’ve gone from writing in my small pocket journals to writing in A5 notebooks again. The first one I cracked open was this limited edition Leuchtturm1917 in gold (you can still get them online). This notebook is beautiful. I love Leuchtturms above all other notebooks, but the gold and silver editions are extra special. It has two bookmark ribbons, which are both gold themed and much thicker than the normal versions. Even the address box at the front and the labels are in gold. It’s simply gorgeous.

Going back to the bigger notebook size has been a welcomed change. You can develop ideas in more details. I can keep more information in one notebook. They feel amazing to flip through the filled pages because there’s just so much more of your work in it.

Reunited with my notebooksNotebooks bought from all over Europe on our travels this year.

As you know, I bought a lot of notebooks on our Europe trip this summer. I’d been posting them from each city to a dear friend of mine who had kindly kept countless parcels for me. It was a beautiful trip down memory lane to be united with them once again. As I opened each parcel, I stroked each notebook and talked with my husband about which shop we went to buy each notebook.

I was also reunited with my travel journals and travel scrapbooks. My favourite is absolutely the purple Italian Il Papiro gorgeousness of a notebook that I filled with stuff from Florence and Venice. I leafed through each page carefully, stroking sugar bags and postcards I collected.

Starting up a business

Working through the Right-brain business plan book.

The biggest change since we’ve returned home is that both James and I are starting up businesses. We are each starting up a separate and very different businesses, but it has been wonderful to go through the process together. It’s not so scary when there are two of you doing it.

I’m going to dive in and take my passion for journaling as far as I can go. I am filled with ideas and it’s time I trust them and make them come to life. It’s exciting, it’s scary, but I am brave and I accept the challenge! First thing I will be doing is opening up an Etsy shop, in late October. I will keep you updated on its progress.


postcrossing postcards sent out this week.

Now that we are staying in one place, I’m finally able to join Postcrossing. It’s a site where you can send postcards to people, and a bunch of different people send you postcards. As an introvert needing a lot of time by myself and find friendships hard work, this model works well for me. I love that I can send and receive postcards, without the pressure of having to maintain penpal friendships.

So far, I’ve sent 11 postcards and received 1 postcard. It’s very enjoyable to spend the time finding a postcard that would be perfect for each person from my out-of-control collection of postcards. I’ve so far send postcards to USA, Russia, Germany, Portugal, China, Poland, Finland, Czech Republic, Belarus, and Netherland.

Postcrossing has a different energy to when I write my daily postcards to my mum. With my mum, what I write to her is more important than what image postcard I send her. It’s also about writing something to her everyday to let her know that I am thinking about her even if she is on the other side of the world. With Postcrossing, what postcard image you send to the person is much more important, and what you write is less important. It’s a quick hi to someone, just once, for the joy of sending postcards.

One Month

It’s been a hectic month, but I am so happy to be back home and doing all this. It’s a huge change from our travelling, but it feels just as nourishing, scary and exciting. I guess that means we finished our travelling at the right time. I am really grateful for that.

What have you been up to this month? What big changes are in motion for you?

Morning Pages making you miserable?

17th September 2015

Morning Pages making you miserable?
Morning Pages requires huge commitment and dedication to start and keep doing. It’s a lot of work to get up an hour early and sit down to write three pages by hand every morning. So it’s natural to want all that effort to make you feel better. You want it to make you feel better straight away after you’ve invested so much into it.

Unfortunately, for many people, Morning Pages doesn’t make them feel better straight away. In fact, it can sometimes make you feel downright miserable. Or at least make them feel worse than they did before they started writing the Morning Pages and really put a negative spin on their whole morning.

Are these people doing Morning Pages wrong? Is Morning Pages not working for them? No. What is true however, is that wanting instant uplift of mood is the wrong thing to seek in Morning Pages.

Morning Pages have never claimed to be therapy. Morning Pages have never claimed to make you feel better straight away. What it claims to do is give you a garbage dumping space for your mind so you can gain the space to create beautiful things. A space where you can empty your mind on a daily basis so all that clutter can just sit aside and let your creativity have some much needed space.

Let me ask you a question. Do you think having to walk through a garbage dumping ground would make you feel instantly better afterwards? No. You feel gross, you feel sick, you feel down for having to wade through all that rotting garbage. However, you do feel better by the time you get home, and you start appreciating how beautifully un-stinky your home is, and how great it looks without rotting food everywhere. Morning Pages is a bit like that.

In Morning Pages, we must dig up the dirt that is cluttering our brain. Dare I say, dirt and garbage that we have been holding onto because it’s easier to hold onto garbage than give birth to what our creativity wants us to create. Letting those garbage bags go isn’t easy. We have to face the fact that we have been holding onto these hurts, anger and frustrations in our mind. When all those things comes out on the page, it can make us feel pretty horrible. It’s easy to feel like I am a bad person because I’ve filled the whole three pages with rants about how someone has annoyed me. It also means I will have to go and make that thing I’ve been avoiding making all this time. These two things are not the ingredients for feeling instantly uplifted, but they are the crucial ingredients in gaining creative happiness.

How then, can we have a better relationship with Morning Pages so that we don’t feel it’s doing us more damage than good? How best to let our mind clutter out without the act ruining our morning? How can we walk through a garbage heap without the stink getting onto our clothes? I think there are two things we can do.

It’s all temporary

Trust that this discomfort is temporary. When you feel uncomfortable after writing your Morning pages, don’t fight it. It’s okay. What you are feeling, and what you are going through is a natural result of letting all that clutter out of your head. Don’t get angry at you or anything else for feeling this discomfort. Trust that this is normal, nothing unexpected (and it really is normal), and quit beating yourself up about having these feelings.

Gently remind yourself that this discomfort is temporary and that you won’t feel like this forever. That you feeling the anger, sadness, frustration or any other negative emotions is not a reflection on you, your life, or your creativity. It’s just a necessary part of making more room for your creativity.

Ask a question

Dumping all our mind clutter alone won’t make you feel better. In their session with clients, counsellors and personal coaches let their client talk all about what is bothering them. Then they ask a very critical series of questions:

  • How does it make you feel?
  • What do you need?
  • What do you need to do to feel better about this?

These questions are incredibly helpful in gently guiding your mind from the negative emotions associated to the situation, to  something that is empowering and positive. You feel in control, and there is something you can do. Or you realise there is nothing you can do so there’s no point in holding on to this issue right now. Either way, you get to let go of the negative emotions, and feel a whole lot better.

Next time you are feeling the Morning Pages dragging you down, or you are sick of writing about negative things, ask one of the questions and see what your mind lets you know. It might not make you feel brilliant on the first go, but if you are persistent at asking these questions when you want to change up the mood, you will soon find Morning Pages to be a place where you can solve issues, rather than just talk about them.

September Journaling Prompts

1st September 2015

September Journal Prompt. Daily Journaling Prompt for Creative Happiness.

  1. How can you help someone shine today?
  2. What doubting thought are you ready to let go of today?
  3. What are you feeling stuck on? What belief is keeping you stuck?
  4. If you could spend more time doing one activity this month, what would it be?
  5. List 20 acts that represent ‘compassion’ to you.
  6. What is the minimum set of things you need before you feel at home?
  7. Write down the things you shy away from admitting you love.
  8. What things do you really hate in others? Why do you hate it so much? Where does it come from?
  9. List 10 ways you could acknowledge your desires this week.
  10. What are you procrastinating on at the moment? What fears are you giving into?
  11. Make a list of 100 things you are worried about. Then burn it.
  12. Write actions you associate with the word ‘heard’.
  13. What lessons about work you learnt from your parents that are actually wrong? Are you ready to let go of one?
  14. What mistakes are you ready to forgive yourself for and let go of?
  15. Close your eyes. Listen to your soul. What is it telling you right now? Ask all the questions you want to.
  16. List your super soul food.
  17. Who creates crazy dramas in your life? Get rid of them!
  18. What one embarrassing moment in your life are you ready to truly let go of today?
  19. Every day I show abundance by…
  20. What was the most dominant emotion of your week?
  21. How would being radiant feel for you? What 3 little things can you do to feel radiant this week?
  22. What things from your childhood are you strongly attached to?
  23. What 5 things feels out of your control? What can you do to ease the anxiety?
  24. What one destructive behaviour are you ready to leave behind?
  25. If there was no chance of being criticised or judged, what would you try?
  26. What keepsakes do you keep from your holidays?
  27. What areas of your life are you hungry to feel more abundant in?
  28. What thoughts keep niggling at you and stop you from making things happen?
  29. Who can help you this week?
  30. What positive thing do you bring to your relationship with your partner?