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.

image000000

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.

 

5538266453404787f2763991458eab59--adventure-travel-adventure-quotes

 

 

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?

 

 

 

Refresh Your Soul….

Refresh Your Soul

Every now & then we need something to refresh our soul. So, often the routine of life becomes monotonous. We have to break free to give ourselves a fresh perspective. It is important to open ourselves to something different. For me, art refreshes my mind and helps me to see life in a creative way. What is it you do to refresh your soul? Below are a list of ways you can refresh your soul when you feel complacent.
*Visit your local art galleries
* Explore your local downtown scene.
* Do something different in the middle of the week.
* Meditate
* Book a flight spontaneously.
* Spend some alone time
* Read a book outside your normal genre
* Listen to some music
* Have a stimulating conversation with a stranger
* Plan a road trip

What would you add to this list? Reply in the comment section!

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.

Clear The Clutter

In the last few weeks the sparkle has dimmed which has made me feel like I have been running rampant on the carousel of life. It has been filled with noise that has caused distractions, interruptions and the plague of redundancy. My world began to torment me with the agony of work, school, taking care of my daughter and maintaining personal relationships. I started to search for a moment to slow down, to inhale and exhale out the mental stress. Depletion was slowly creeping in suffocating me, I needed to escape from the mental clutter. I wanted to simply breathe again.

I believe many people can relate to my experience because we all are on a quest to silence the commotion. However, silence can only be found when we start to dismiss the noise we find cramped in our mental space. Mental stress can bring on many issues from depression to PTSD (post traumatic stress syndrome). According to Pysch Central, “Stress actually has an impact on how the brain processes information and stores memories.” In order to combat the pangs we feel when stressed we have to begin to take an inventory of where the clutter lies.

Here are a couple of tips to clear the clutter from your mental, emotional & physical space:

1. Take a nap. Resting is essential to refueling your mind, body and soul.

2. Schedule personal quality time. We all need to be able to take some personal moments to our self to quiet the noise around us. Make it a habit to put an appointment on the calendar just for you.

3. Choose an activity just for you. Running around on everyone schedule gets tiresome, find something you love to do that does not require you to do nothing but relax.

4. Be Selfish. In society we are programmed to believe taking care of our self is selfish however if you do not take care of you first no one else will so be selfish.


References:
http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/05/06/our-brain-on-stress-forgetful-emotional/ 

http://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/stress-symptoms-causes-and-effects.htm

Picture Reference:
http://www.purepowerfitness.com.au/blog/