Why road trips are great for writers….

roadtripss

Imagine an open road filled with many destinations but there is no specific direction you want to take. Each road leads to an adventure where stories start to ruminate in your mind. The people you meet, the places you see and the things you do are all connected to a bigger picture. The bigger picture is the stories waiting to come alive. Road trips have the power to bridge the gap between creativity and inspiration.

I believe road trips are essential for a writer. Writers not only need time to write but they need a place of inspiration. Sometimes the best inspiration happens when you are living life. Last month, I decided to embark on an epic road trip with my daughter and best friend. It had been nine years since I went on an extended road trip. I was determined not to drive twelve hours to my hometown.

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However, in the end trying to fight the inevitable was useless so I let go, let God  and the road trip came to fruition.  As I reflect on all that took place on our road trip I realize how important it was for me to get outside my comfort zone. The trip was epic and fun.

Road trips are a great way to explore different cities, meet interesting people and reconnect with friends and family.  As a writer road trips help us reconnect with our five senses, live in the moment and gain clarity. Below are three reasons why road trips are great for writers.

1. You tap into your five senses. There is a great power when you tap into your five senses: sight, sound, taste, smell and touch play a major part in developing characters and the setting of the story. Road trips force us to pay attention to unfamiliar surroundings.

2. New Places & Faces. Road trips allow you to meet interesting people and explore new places. These two elements can help a writer develop characters and incorporate the place they visit into their story. Each person you meet may have a distinct personality trait you want to integrate into your character’s development.

3. Gain Clarity. Every writer needs time away to unplug and refresh their thoughts. Road trips help you relax, rejuvenate and reboot your thinking. When you take time to clear your mind your thoughts become organized. You will be able to come back to a writing project with a new perspective.

 

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The Joy of Solitude….

The Joy of Solitude (2)

Long holiday weekends are warrant for spending time in solitude. This weekend was no exception. After spending the last two months suffering from exhaustion all I wanted to do is simply nothing. I can honestly confess I am tired of going hard; doing more to get more to be more.

When I lived overseas I cherished life in slow motion. Since I’ve been back in the U.S. life on autopilot is the norm. I constantly battle with this insane concept. So, I decided for the next 30 days I will spend time replenishing my mind, body and spirit.

I will take intentional time to slow down and be present in the moment. It is refreshing to be still, marinating in life’s precious moments. Below, I made a list of  ways you can replenish yourself.

1. Read your favorite novel.

2. Take a lavender epsom salt bath.

3. Unplug from social media for a day, week, month or year.

4. Take a walk without your phone.

5. Sleep.

6. Meditate.

7. Get creative and color.

8. Go to the beach.

9. Watch a sunrise.

10. Watch a sunset.

11. Go to a bookstore.

12. Staycation; reserve a hotel room in your local town.

13. Binge watch your favorite Amazon Prime show or Netflix episodes.

14. Stay in your house all day.

15. Cook your favorite meal.

16. Listen to your favorite music streaming station.

17. Aromatherapy; buy some aromatherapy candles & burn them in your house.

These are just a few ways you can replenish your mind, body and spirit. I dare you to make your own list and spend a day, week or month in replenishment. How are you going to replenish yourself this summer?

 

 

 

Last Day of Summer….

Summer

Today is the official last day of summer and for most of us it is just another day. However, I believe this is the best time to spend it in reflection. Reflecting is a great therapeutic tool to slow down and gather your thoughts. In this process you can reflect on the last nine months of this year. You might decide to reflect on goals that were achieved, relationships that ended, new things that have entered your life and where you want to be at by the end of 2017.

Reflection is a good way to look at the past, embrace the present and prepare for the future. As you prepare for the autumnal equinox take this day to sit back, sip your favorite beverage and revel in the beauty of Fall.

How do you plan to spend your last day of summer? (Leave your comments below)

Redesign Your Life…

For the last eight months, I have been diligently redesigning and repairing my home. It was my goal to create a home that I loved.  At the end of last year, I went to visit a friend in Virginia. She lived in a beautiful loft located across from a private beach. I truly fell in love with the ambiance of her home. I knew she had an admiration for the beach life and so she brought the essence of that lifestyle to her home.

I was truly inspired by her home. She encouraged me to surround my home with all the things I love. When I came back from my week of vacation I began to do the work to turn my house into a home I adored.

I remember when I spent years  jumping on the road visiting friends and family because my house was just a place to sleep, eat and dwell. However, this year I began to change my perception about my house and decided to implement the things I love in my home. Since, I have been on this journey of redesigning  my home I don’t feel the need to run away from it anymore. I enjoy the process of redesigning a home that screams elegance. I love a home filled with beautiful things especially peace, luxury and love.

In the process of upgrading my home I realize my life has shifted. I am learning not to settle for things that I don’t love. I also learned that I am worthy to live the life I desire and become the woman I want to be.

In this sudden shift my life has taken me on a better path. I choose to cultivate  relationships and friendships that are mutually beneficial. I am more in tune with designing a career, home and life I love versus settling for a life I just exist in momentarily.

I believe our homes are a representation of our life. I have found that my life is being reinvented along with my home.

Below are a couple things you can do to redesign your home that reflects a shift in your life.

1. Clear Your Closet. Get rid of clothes you no longer wear or love. As you evolve your wardrobe evolves as well.

2. Organize the clutter. When you begin to organize the clutter you will gain more clarity in your life.

3. Add Gold. According to Ashlina Kaposta, interior designer & blogger of The Decorista Blog, says “adding metallics in your home office illuminates your money making energy”. Check out her blog: http://tinyurl.com/ycxgzkl8

4. Move. For years my life was a mirror image of my home, the same old routines in my life with my house decorated the same way for 9 years. However, rearranging some things in my house help me freshen up my life routine.

5. Make a list. Think about all the things you love and make a list to implement those things in your home. For example I love books so I created a small bookbasket under my desk to hold my books & journals.

Which one will you pick to work on this week? Share your comments below.

30 Days of Stillness

In a world filled with the consumption of busyness it is very unusual in our American culture to take time to be still. Since I have been back in the United States it seems as if we consistently glorify busyness, as if it is a badge of honor. The glorification of being busy has caused many diseases, stress, breakdowns and much more for the American culture. People identify with the words “hustle”, “grind” and “go-getter” as a way to celebrate their busy lives. Too often we confuse productivity with busyness and vice versa. Therefore, slowing down is never a thought because we do more to be more to get more. Instead of finding the beauty in simplicity we rush through life missing out on it.

I remember when I lived abroad I cherished the simplicity of life and enjoyed the moments of downtime. Simplicity was not so foreign to me until I came back to the US.  I began to yearn for the days where being present in the moment was a joy. Although, I’ve been  back in the US for 11 years now I still have not adjusted to the hustle and bustle of busyness. However, I made a vow to myself to get back to the life of simplicity!

Every summer I spend time strategizing where I want to go and who I plan to visit yet, this summer I wanted to do something different. I decided to spend 30 days being still; doing absolutely nothing. And to be honest, I found so much enjoyment in relaxing, slowing down and being present in the moment. Although, you may not be able to take 30 days off to be still but you can pick a day to do absolutely nothing.

Here are a couple of things I learned from my month of slowing down.

1. It can wait. Sometimes what you think is a priority is not a priority so rearrange your list and take some time to slow down.

2. Staycation.  Staycations are the best vacations because it allows you to rest and refresh your whole being.

3. Stop chasing people. I spent too many summers and holidays on the road visiting people who had no intentions of visiting me. Save your gas and money for a trip you want to take alone.

4. Become a priority in your own life. Stop waiting until other people put you as a priority on their list. It is time you become number 1 on your own list.

5. Stillness is mindfulness. When you are consumed with the present moment you see the present in everyday living.

So, take the time to disconnect yourself from the spirit of busy and embrace the joys of living in the moment. 

Which lesson will you implement this week? Let me know in the comments.