As much as I can pat myself on the back for launching before I was ready, I have been awfully quiet around these parts.
Meh. It's a work in progress and I'm okay with that. In the meantime, though, I've been slowly working my way through Made Vibrant's Better Branding Course--which has been both excellent and hard work--and slowly reintroducing some very intentional consumption after taking a break from the content overload.
Part of that intentional consumption has been scrolling past the "How to Make $$$$ from a Product Launch" and "X Ways to Grow Your Business" posts (or eliminating the sources in my feeds altogether) and choosing from the more lifestyle and creative living content. (P.S. Regina finally wrote the post that everyone needs to hear: How Not to Get Caught in the Six-Figure Blogger Suck-in. Don't fall into the trap. Please.) Instead of feeling anxious about reading blog posts, I'm starting to feel relaxed and inspired by the posts that are thought-provoking, often laced with storytelling.
In this season of life, I'm very choosey about what I read. I want to read posts that challenge the norm, that encourage you to stop following a formula, that let you know that you're not alone, that inspire you to make small but significant changes, that are less about outcomes and more about the journey, that reflect and cause you to do the same, that aren't so much about entrepreneurship and more about life, that are just pure feel-good stories. I'm sure in the next season, I'll be looking for something different, but for now, this is the kind of reading I'm enjoying and likely the kind of content I'll be producing (if any!).
Now that I've really narrowed down my go-to sources, I've realized that there are still many many individuals writing really great stuff and they are worth sharing. And that makes me really happy.
So without further ado, here are five "evergreen" reflective blog posts that feel like they were written for me in this season, and hopefully you can find truth, inspiration, and joy from them, too.
Gaining a Little Perspective by Erica Midkiff
Balance is among the hardest things to achieve in life--so much so that we're not even really sure it can ever really be obtained. Erica, however, really puts balance into perspective by challenging us to think of it in terms of weeks or months, instead of daily.
Many of us have mapped out our ideal day, and I love this exercise. It's a beautiful way to look at what you truly find important and what makes you happy. But I think that where we fall down is thinking we can always do those things every single day.
If you need to restructure the way you're thinking about balance, read on.
P.S. I've participated in Erica's Explore Challenge before and even though I still haven't finished (and I WILL), it has been one of the most impactful challenges I've ever invested in.
On dedication. by Hannah Brencher
This was one of those posts that I read and immediately felt like it was written for me. Hannah's life has been shifting in ways that feel awfully similar to mine--a life that feels simpler and smaller in the brightest ways. But, like many of Hannah's posts, this particular post kind of kicked me in the gut. I had been doing a whole lot of talking about doing this and that in my life and not actually doing it. Through her own struggle with resistance, she keeps it real with herself and with us:
I'm finally writing and I am here to report that still, one month later, it hasn't gotten easier. The resistance has been there consistently each day. The liars still show up at the door. The thoughts o "I can't do this" rattle in my brain. But I am doing it. I am walking towards what scares me. I am putting something I love first because I am afraid to wake up one day and realize I only watched but never participated.
Talk about inspiring. No more excuses not to get started. Go on, be dedicated.
10 Simple Ways to Reset Your Mind, Body, and Soul by The Blissful Mind
Sometimes it's nice to break up some heavier reading with a good solid listicle. Truly, this post is even more useful than I imagined it would be! Catherine always has wonderful and unique insight and this post reminded me of the little and practical steps we can take to take care of ourselves. I'm most intrigued by her Self-Care Power Hour concept, love her reminder to declutter your digital space (equally as important as your physical space!), and feel more in control by the positive affirmations she recommends. I also read this post on a day where I went somewhere new to work and it made the world of a difference.
What’s important is that you have the tools you need to get yourself un-stuck whenever you need to.
Using Self-Awareness to Adjust Your Aspirations by Made Vibrant
It's excellent to have mentors to look up to and learn from, but when you start to mold your creative processes and lives around what they have done to achieve success, you may need to take a step back. Caroline reminds us that "we are NOT our mentors" and that our self-awareness is the best quality we can possess.
Go within, get honest with yourself, take in the pieces of inspiration you pick up along the way, but ultimately design a life that is completely unique to who you are.
A Look Back: A Reverse Bucket List by Christina Elyse
Okay. Okay. Seriously, how cool is the idea of a reverse Bucket List?! This post is older, but I think its content is timeless. Christina is a new friend I've managed to stumble across and I am in LOVE with her beautiful writing style and pictures and it was so much fun getting a glimpse into the many, very cool experiences she's had in life!
Is it weird that I often dream of surprising my future children with all the random things I've seen, done, and lived through one day? I actually imagine them seeing me as a stable mother with not much there past being a mother, and their eyes widen as little pieces of information leak out over the years, like "wait - you owned your own business? You learned how to out run alligators? You were born in a blizzard?"
Doesn't that make you want to write your own reverse Bucket List, too?
Ahhh, now how do you feel? Refreshed? Revived? Reflective? Inspired? Let me know in the comments and be sure to share a blog post that you feel is exactly what you need to read in this reflective season of life.