I Found My Inspiration

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During this time away from writing, I’ve been holding myself back from creativity. I keep waiting to feel in the mood or waiting for inspiration to smack me in the face. One of my favorite artist St. Vincent conducted an interview the other day. She stated if you wait to be in the mood, you’ll never be creative. It got me thinking if I could truly call myself a writer if I haven’t written anything in months. Whenever I get the urge to write something, nothing comes out, or I hate whatever I put together. I built up this thought of perfection in my mind that’s impossible to reach. My unrealistic standards are setting the mood, having an idea in mind, creating an outline beforehand, creating bullet points of the topic, proofreading within the following two days tops, and then publish the blog post. There’s no wonder why I haven’t written anything as all that is too much pressure. Sometimes you have no idea where the thought is going, and it’s best to let the mind wander. The best inspiration may come from just getting your ideas out and then fine-tined the piece later.

My purpose for writing this post today is to tell you to keep going. Even when you feel like giving up and when you aren’t in the mood. Keep going, especially when you aren’t in the mood. It’s easy to feel motivated when you’re happy and in a great headspace. The struggle comes in on the lazy days and when the only thing you can muster is to eat and go back to sleep. Given the current climate wanting to go back to sleep and not do anything sounds fantastic. However, there are times when you need to get your head back in there and go after those goals. That is the actual test of your motivation. I saw an Instagram post a few days ago, and it discussed how people seek advice, but they lack self-discipline. For example, you know what you need to eat if you want to maintain a healthy weight. You don’t need nutrition advice, but you need to develop better self-discipline habits. Create a plan for yourself and stick to it. For example, if you need to study for a test, tell yourself the sooner, I study today, the more of the rest of the day I have to myself.

Inspiration doesn’t just show up at will. You have to be in a mindset for it to flourish. You have to dedicate time to the things you want to occur. For example, I set aside two hours today to start writing to create this post. I honestly had no idea where I was going with this when I first started. I allowed for the thoughts in my head to come through my fingers and create this post. As I got further along with how I wanted to craft the reminding elements, this post started to take shape. I allowed my mind to do as she pleases, and I was able to take something unexpected into a gem. I believe this is how inspiration is supposed to happen naturally. You don’t force it but make room for it to come to you. Once it finally comes, you will be able to create something when you least expect it. If you aren’t working on something constantly, you can never hone your craft or get better. Things get better over time, but that’s impossible to do if you aren’t putting in the work.

Breaks are a necessary part of life. There are times when you’re hitting a brick wall, and stepping away is the only way to come back from that. The trick is not to allow that break to become permanent. Once you stop something cold turkey, it can be rough to start it back again. It doesn’t mean it’s impossible to correct, but it will require more effort on your part to overcome. My advice in this situation is not to allow the breaks to go too long. Create a designated timeframe of when you will return, as this will get you to commit to continuing on your goal. For example, I took a break from exercising this past week. However, I made it a point to tell myself and my instructor; I will be back the following week. That will keep me honest and accountable about my goal.

If there is a lack of commitment, it will be challenging to maintain a plan and see it to the finish line. A goal without a plan is a wish. Wishes aren’t actionable, and when there is a lack of action, there’s nothing to measure your progress. To tell if you’re moving in the right direction is through an actionable plan. My new motto is to state the goal, plan out the steps to achieve the goal, measure the steps to achieve the goal, and include a goal completion deadline. Without this much attention to detail, I would struggle to get anything accomplished. Now, I’m going to apply this same logic to my writing.

Throughout my rumbling, I hope that you found something useful to apply to your life. I wanted to share somethings that helped me recently, and I hope they can help you. During this pandemic period, it has been difficult for everyone. Trying to stay motivated and not get bottled down in negativity is an extraordinary feat. I clamber myself at times, and I took several social media breaks. People can be miserable at times, and I was trying my best not to entertain that drama. I wasn’t successful all the time, but I made attempts. If I’m honest, this impacted my ability to write. I didn’t know if anyone would care what I had to say or even if it would be well received.

People’s attention is elsewhere, so at times I felt who would even care to read a blog. There are so many other important things going on in the world. I had to remember that the people who want to seek out your post will and the others won’t. You can’t focus on would people care because the person that matters is you. Whomever this post is meant to touch, it will reach them. Let this be a lesson to you. You don’t stop something because you hold someone else’s opinion in higher regard than yours. You never know whose life you will impact by being yourself. Go out there and show the world the most beautiful person they ever saw. The inspiration that you possess could be a beacon of hope to someone else.

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Be sure to check out the discussion question before you go, and I’ll chat with you next time.

How do you manage to stay inspired in those moments when you’re struggling the most?

Work From Home Blues

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I’m not sure if I shared this information with all of you. I’ve been working from home since March 13th. After I reveal this information immediately, the response is, “Wow, how are you managing that?” Contrary to popular belief, I am an introvert. I know shocker but not necessarily to those who know me personally. I had to learn how to navigate this extroverted world and let me tell you; it’s not easy. My fellow introverts will be able to relate to that last statement. Overall, working from home takes its toll on you regardless if you’re an introvert or not. At some point, you’ll miss your co-workers, not having to work as hard (basically, you’ll feel guilty for putting in less than 100%), the little joys such as happy hour after work, and some shred of normalcy. If your curious about how I overcame the work from home blues, then keep reading. I came up with four steps that have been instrumental to me during this pandemic. Of course, more can be added, and feel free to share them in the comment section below. 

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Update Your Surroundings

Nothing says boring like your uninspiring makeshift office space. If your overall area is dull and in desperate need of a makeover, then make it happen. You can’t be surprised if your brain is in a constant state of depression if your workspace looks like a horror movie (I love horror; btw, this is just an example). I’m a big believer in your surroundings do impact your mood. For you to feel amazing, your workspace needs to be unique to you. Add your favorite things to your work area. For example, travel items, memorabilia items, novelty items, or whatever tickles your fancy. The point of this is to spruce up your workspace and to have you love your new office. Plus, if we’re going to be home for a while, you need to love your new digs.

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Take Productive Breaks

There is this tendency to work like crazy when working from home. I believe subconsciously; we want our employers to know we’re working hard and not wasting time. Unfortunately, what comes with this line of thinking is the lack of awareness to take breaks. I remember countless times during the beginning of the pandemic when I would work past lunchtime. I would look up, and it was 4 o’clock, and I remembered I didn’t have lunch today. Let me tell you those days are OVER! I have a recurring meeting for my lunchtime. Sometimes the time may change, given my workload that day. However, I have lunch every day, as expected. No more thinking I need to get work done because nothing is worth your health. Depending on how the day is going, you may need to take additional 15-minute breaks. If so, don’t be afraid to schedule those times as well. We’re all trying to survive this pandemic the best that we can. Being a workhorse isn’t the wave, so don’t jump on it.

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Look Into Training

One of the most incredible things about this pandemic is the ability to work on something that we had on the back burner. I know for a fact there has to be a new area you wanted to try or training that you keep shifting from month to month. There’s no time like the present to seize the day! Working on yourself during this time will set you up nicely when either a new project comes up or returning to the office. For example, I recently completed training at work, and now I have an opportunity to work on a new project. If I didn’t take the opportunity to gain this knowledge, then I couldn’t be apart of this new endeavor. You never know what opportunities can arise from taking on new challenges. Even if it doesn’t pay off right away, it can help with adding further details to your resume. Given the current economic climate, the more skills you have, the better. These skills can be the reason why you’re in high demand by employers. Being in a position to demand salary and place of employment is the ultimate goal. 

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Take Your PTO

I understand your response is, “Where am I going?” If that is your first reaction, then you’re missing the entire point. The pandemic may have put a dampen on things travel-wise, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy local activities. Given the extra emphasis that COVID-19 has on mental health, breaks are more critical than ever. Working every week with no breaks is not recommended pandemic or not. Why are you letting this time stop you from enjoying yourself? Take time to spend with family, friends, and, most importantly, with yourself. Taking time away from work will cause you to be more productive once you log back on. Life is stressful enough, so don’t add to it but not taking time off work. Work will be there once you return. You truly aren’t missing anything, so get out there and LIVE!

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I have implemented all four of these steps during the past seven months, which changed my life. I was ready to throw the laptop out the window because, at some point, enough is enough. There’s only so much a person can take with the isolation that working from home can cause. I got to the realization that I missed my co-workers, and we started having virtual lunches. Those lunches were game-changers as it made me feel connected in a small way. That made me realize how much in life we take for granted and how it an instant it can disappear. Hopefully, these tips will help you as you move forward in this new work from home environment. 

Be sure to check out the discussion question below before you go, and I’ll chat with you in the next blog. 

What tips are you using to overcome the work from home blues? 

Mental Breaks Are Underrated

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It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post. I must admit that I found it extremely difficult to be creative these past few weeks. Absolutely nothing was inspiring, nor had I felt compelled to write. I searched the internet to find something to assist with overcoming writer’s block. I found helpful information, but nothing was still working. I felt like at this point; my blog was over. It would cease to exist, and then a loss in viewership followed by a decline in followers. I turned to nature to gain some inspiration. I figured the issue must be my surroundings. I need to change my environment to aid in my writer’s block. That would help for a bit, but I still had no energy to write anything. Anything that I did write wasn’t worth publishing, to be honest. There was no passion in the content, so I didn’t bother completing it. Honestly, I have no idea how I managed to write this piece. An idea finally came to me, I put pen to paper and went for it.

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The whole point of all that rambling is that it’s okay to take a break. Sometimes you need to step away to make things better. There’s nothing wrong with realizing you don’t have it, nor do you need to for that matter. Listen to your body when it’s trying to tell you something. My body was letting me know how emotionally, physically, and mentally drained it was. I’ve been on the go for about a month and a half. The only thing I was doing is work, work, and more work. When I get like this, I find it very difficult to stop and smell the roses. It may have something to do with not being in a relationship, so I don’t have much to occupy my time. I keep saying I need to stop doing that and live life better. It’s easier said than done let me tell you. However, if I don’t make a considerate effort, I’ll continue to fail miserably at it.

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We all make excuses myself included about how I’ll do it tomorrow or only if I had more time. The truth is there’s not always tomorrow and the best time is the present. Start planning that trip, try out that new restaurant, respond to that unread message and most importantly use those vacation/sick days. You can’t show up for others until you show up for you first.

Happy soul searching!

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The Importance of Me Time

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After having over a month of running from here and there, I am exhausted. I didn’t realize it until this past weekend when my plans fall through. I realized at that point that I need to take better care of myself. It’s important to understand that at times, you need to take a break and decompress from the world. Many people have different ways of needing me time, but whatever it is, it needs to happen. Burn out from work and life is a real thing. I believe this is the reason why more people are suffering from depression. Americans are overworked and underpaid, which is a recipe for disaster. It is more critical than ever the need to recharge and refuel to be a better version of yourself. In the next paragraphs, I’m going to discuss my top 3 things I do during my me time.

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I love to meditate as it’s imperative to get centered with yourself. It helps to rid my body of those negative thoughts, and it helps me to relax as well. At first, I struggled with it because it was new and something I never did before. I thought that maybe I would never obtain the concept, but after a few practices, I finally got the hang of it. I recommend meditation as it’s a great way to help with self-soothing. Of course, in life, you will be faced with many stressful and challenging situations. Meditation is the best way to remain calm in those situations. Since adopting meditation, I have been much happier and more relaxed than usual. I would get upset about something and be able to keep myself calm quickly. Whereas in the past I would get agitated and it would take me a while to calm down. Most of it had to do with my career and my emotional intelligence not being at the same level. Maturing doesn’t end at 18 years of age, and we all continue to grow through more life experiences. The best way to start meditating is simple by starting and finding a free app to use. I enjoy Head space even though it’s not entirely free, but it has a worth of knowledge available. Whichever route you decide to take I hope that you will give it a try. It has done wonders for me, and I hope that others enjoy the same benefits.

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I started to institute a requirement that I would stay off of social media at least one day a week. I noticed that it was consuming a vast majority of my time, and it started to contribute to the negative feelings I was having about myself. I know everyone likes to think they’re secure about themselves, but now and then we all start to focus more on the flaws that we have. Social media has a way of reinforcing those negative stereotypes and body images. It’s important to unplug and step away from social media to see the real world. There is most likely something that you have been putting off that you forgot to work on and you’re using social media as a reason not to complete it. I have been guilty in the past of saying I don’t have time or I’ll come back to it later. The truth is I hardly come back to it, and I was lazy by not completing my tasks. By giving myself time away from social media, I get to readjust my focus and get back to my real life.

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The last thing that I created for myself during my me time is lazy Sundays. I don’t do this every Sunday, but depending on the week I had or coming up I would do nothing on this day. I can stay in the house all day if I want to or go outside. It’s a lazy day because I don’t demand that I full this day up with something to do. I allow my mood to determine what I would do that day if I do anything. Sunday is a no pressure type of day. I can use it as a day to catch up on my reading, my favorite TV shows, or prepare myself for the upcoming week. Allowing myself this time helps me with getting much-needed rest and will enable me to slow things down a bit. I’m guilty of not giving myself breaks as I should and setting a day aside to do just that helps tremendously.

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What are some of your me time activities that you like to partake? If you don’t have any currently, which ones would you like to implement?