Archive for ‘j’s Love Project’

2017, May 26

FYA Self-love Challenge: Week Two

This was the second week following my friend j’s Find Your Awesome Self-Love Challenge.
Every evening I sat down and wrote a short summary of my day, which adds up to a short recap post at the end of each week. In case you missed it, here’s last week’s sum-up.

Day 6 – Make a Mandala

Day 7 – Call Bullshit on “Should”
I cleaned the apartment because it looks lovely shiny and outer order definitely contributes to inner peace for me. I cooked lunch and dinner, because I love cooking and it’s great to have home-cooked meals.
And also, I read instead of packing a bag of stuff to take over to my mom’s place, because I won’t get there before the weekend anyways!

Day 8 – Be Openly Magnificent
I’m working from home, being fearlessly and unabashedly myself. The cat loves it. I love it!

Day 9 – Fill the Spaces
I took this challenge literally when I was filling in the spaces I created in my mandala. Outside of that, it was a day in which I spoke my mind. My opinion was at the very least heard before going ignored.

Day 10 – Be Wildly Creative
Before even realizing it, I got wildly creative with my lunch. I paired leftover rice, with scrambled eggs made with leftover zucchini, mushrooms and spinach, topped with leftover Parmesan. Maybe an odd combo, but it was delicious – I should’ve taken a picture!

How was your week? Did you sign up for the challenge? Do you like it so far? Even if you haven’t joined the self-love challenge, what did you do this week to love yourself?

2017, May 19

FYA Self-love Challenge: Week One

This was the first week following my friend j’s Find Your Awesome Self-Love Challenge. I talked about it before, so I won’t repeat myself.
Every evening I sat down and wrote a short summary of my day, which sums up to a short recap post at the end of each week.

Day 1 – Text Love
Texting love… was met with no reply. On the other hand, I did have a lovely Skype conversation with a friend, and a short FB conversation with another friend, which picked up my mood a bit. The love came back from the unexpected sources, and that was great!

Day 2 – Body Love
Loving my body was a bit of a challenge since my feet hurt after I’ve doubled up my Sunday athletic events. But, I am grateful for them for getting me through it, and will just give them some extra massages and let them rest before I go running again this weekend.

Day 3 – Make a Life List
I have written my Life List before, here’s the link if anyone’s interested in reading it :)
Today, I am finally taking my own advice from that blog post, and turning my year of photo challenges into an e-book – I sat down and created the document, and in it, Styles for my title, headers, and text. If I work on it little by little, it doesn’t have to be all done in one day.
That’s exactly what kept me away for the past, umm, five (?) years from that idea – the enormity of the project which I’ve made up all by myself when it really isn’t the case.

Day 4 – Put Yourself on a T-Shirt
For the past couple of years I’ve been giving a lot of my clothes to charity, so by now, I have three t-shirts with actual writing on them (one of which wasn’t planned, as I recently got it in the participation kit of a running event).
However, the text I would most love on a t-shirt and would sum me up perfectly, is this one by Myth Understood. I’ve been wanting a womens dolman t-shirt like this for literally years, but its price+shipping put me off, and I’ve been too lazy to find the design and go get it printed on a t-shirt locally for a third of the price. Maybe next time I consider buying myself a present.

Day 5 – Be Outrageously Grateful
Beyond grateful for being able to travel to Bucharest for a short weekend trip, and for little traffic on the way and making it here safe!

How was your week? Did you sign up for the challenge? Do you like it so far? Even if you haven’t joined the self-love challenge, what did you do this week to love yourself?

2017, April 7

Finding your awesome

Today I want to take a second to talk about a very cool, illustrated creative journal, FIND YOUR AWESOME, by my friend Judy Clement Wall.

It seems to me that everyone lately is only thinking about themselves, and it makes me sad.
I think when people are dealing with some things in their lives, they tend to forget that everyone else also has stuff to deal with – more or less difficult then they themselves are. This is where it’d be great to also focus on others, because it really doesn’t take much time or effort to be attentive, and if one can, why not make someone’s day better? Even by simply smiling at them, by saying hello and asking how they are, it’s already a step in the right direction.
We need to be better, to be humans and care. Thinking about others will always make you a better person.

That said, it also seems to me that among family and friends, many people rarely put themselves first, or do, or buy things for themselves.
Yes, doing things with others will help make them be/feel special in your life.
But on the other hand, I believe that we need to take care of ourselves in order to fully be able to be the better people I described above. For people to truly be able to love other people and be kind, it all starts with self-love.

This is the message my friend j transmits through her creative journal. Go read her blog post about it, and watch her very cool animated book trailer!

In her own words, she wrote and illustrated FIND YOUR AWESOME not to help people become someone new, but to help them uncover the imaginative, openhearted, amazing selves they already are. She truly believes that if one completes this book, committing oneself to just 30 days of self-discovery and celebration, it will change how they move in the world and infuse their life with love, fun, connection, and creativity.

I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of the journal! I believe that it’ll be, like everything j creates, a beautiful piece of art as well as a very useful tool for people to well… find their awesome.

J also has a challenge in store for her readers and friends – 30 days of self-love! Here’s the excerpt from her website:

“On May 15th, I’ll be embarking on my own 30-day self-love challenge using FIND YOUR AWESOME, and I’d love for you to join me. There will be a Facebook group, short daily emails of encouragement, and more animated videos to inspire you. It’ll be free, fun, and good for your soul, plus if you sign up, you’ll be automatically entered to win a signed copy of FIND YOUR AWESOME. (Even if you’ve already purchased my book , sign up. These little journals make wonderful gifts.)
I’ll be posting more about the book and the challenge over the next several weeks.”

Haven’t done a self-love challenge in a while, so I’ve already signed up, and I think I’ll post a little summary blog post every week on Fridays while the challenge lasts. They were fun to do during my year of following the 52/52 e-guide‘s assignments every week, so I’m looking forward to it!

2016, February 5

The power of small steps

Last January, during my year of following the 52/52 e-guide‘s assignments every week, I wrote a Life List. Even though I started out with the list looking more like a to-do list in the beginning, I quickly switched to dream-mode and thought of the things I’d really really want to do in this lifetime.

Now, my boyfriend is very realistic. He doesn’t like to make plans too far ahead, if at all. And it sometimes drives me nuts because I believe that the things that we focus on are the things that will surround us.
If we only focus on today, then weekend plans might fail because we’re not making an effort to think about them and make time for some things. Or if we only focus on having bills to pay and not having enough money, then that will be our reality. And we won’t be able to shift that reality until we start looking beyond our present, and start believing that things will get better. (I am quite bad at this one, after years of being in debt!) Then, we need to decide what it is we want, and take small steps toward those things.
For this reason, the other day I wrote a list of things we need to fix in the apartment, or stuff we need to buy. I’m hoping that being on a list will keep them more in focus as opposed to just in the back of our mind and never getting around to even think of them.

There are quite a few things on the Life List that I still need to start taking steps toward. Like turning my year of photo challenges into an e-book – I still need to sit down and work on it. Little by little, even if it doesn’t have to be done in one day, I ended up avoiding this item. Not sure why. But I fully intend to finally sit down and start assembling the e-book.

However, as I read it the other day, I realized that I actually achieved several things off my Life List. Also, I achieved quite a few things off the My purpose for money list that I wrote four years ago, when I had a total of four jobs at the same time by the end of 2012. It’s interesting to me how many similar items there are on both lists.
I traveled more in Romania and saw places I’ve never been to, alone and with loved ones. I re-visited places I loved (both in my country and across the border), and wrote a few travel articles. I visited friends from Great Britain and tried a lot of new kinds of food while traveling. I made a couple of my home-decor ideas reality decorating our small apartment, learned a bit how to drive, and saw the fireworks in Budapest, Hungary this New Year.

My most important item on the Life List and also on the My purpose for money list was by far to “Earn a living being a full-time writer/Turn writing into a priority and a steady income”. And you know what? I made that come true!

With a lot of support from my boyfriend, and learning more, I am now a technical author and love love love it! I recall writing a letter to myself talking about this when I was only applying for the job. It leaves me creative enough to write on my blog, too, and is still about writing, and editing and re-writing, etc. which I love doing as a full-time job. It gives me the chance to sometimes take the afternoon for reading, research and learning even more about the field.
It also gave me the opportunity to travel to London. Twice.
It pays better than any job I ever had before and now I can actually set money aside for travel and vacationing even if it takes a couple of months to save up. But I am finally out of debt.

Sure Life still gets in the way of things many times, but it doesn’t bother me quite as much as before. Because I am doing something I love and it made everything else much easier. I am definitely happier and more enthusiastic.

So if you ever stop and think about something you’d like to do as it being “unattainable”, please don’t. Try to break it down to small, achievable steps. Take one small step after the other, and it will all work itself out.

2016, January 6

No Auditioning & Drawing a self-portrait

The assignments for the last two weeks in the year of loving ourselves fearlessly were to not audition for love, and to draw a self-portrait (or seven).

I have a natural tendency toward putting myself last and people-pleasing, so during the week of no auditioning it was quite hard to actually follow up on the assignment. It would’ve been so much easier to just go where I was told, do what was expected of me no questions asked and caring for everyone around me first before “getting” to myself.

Truth is, I know I have the choice of saying “No” to things, that I should act on my own priorities and values.
So I aksed myself “what are the most important things to me?” question and took it from there. I stalled when I could, and said I needed to think about things/favors when that was the case. I thought about how stressful it would be for me to undertake said favor, how much pressure I would feel. I considered if it was worth it, and if I actually had the time to do it or what I would need to give up in order to free time for that specific thing.
I also tried something new to me and gave myself a kind of time limit, like “I’m only free for this during 9 am to 11 am.” for example, I said “No” with conviction, and also did my best to not give excuses – which is always a temptation for me as I want people to understand my reasoning (but it usually backfires because it gives people wiggle room to try and help me find time, resources, etc. for what they ask of me).
I’m convinced I’m a good path, and will do my best to continue doing these things instead of auditioning for love.

As for the self-portrait? Well, I drew it this morning since I took last week off from my blog without any notice – we went on a short trip with the BF and I wanted to focus on just the two of us and sight-seeing.

draw a self-portrait

How was your holiday season? Did you manage not auditioning for love? How tough was it? Are you a natural people-pleaser, too? Did you draw a self-portrait? I’d love to see it, if so!

PS: If you’re interested in giving this a go in 2016, you can buy the 52-52 guide in the shop.

2015, December 23

Love the one you’re with

In the year of loving ourselves fearlessly, last week we were to love the one we’re with. j mentions this in the 52-52 guide thinking of encounters with people who choose to get their real-life discussions interrupted and pay more attention to their phone rather than the person they’re with. I dislike that, too. The Huffington Post has some great articles on the subject of technology overload.

So last week, I paid even more attention to not checking my phone (e-mail, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) when I was with people.
On the one hand, it wasn’t too hard – at work I had a lot to do and didn’t go out to lunch, and by the time I finished work I was already exhausted. Even more so by the time we got home, past 10 pm every night so I didn’t really get the chance to think about wanting to do anything but love the one I was with.

On the other hand though it dawned on me that it’s not necessarily only when people check their phones while with someone that they don’t pay true attention to that person in their real, physical world. You could be e-mailing your friend who doesn’t reply. Or trying to share your good news over a Skype chat with someone who’s upset and can only focus on that instead of your good news. Or you could be trying to have a conversation with someone who is not listening to you only wanting to talk about themselves.
I think the latter hurts more than one simply checking their phone during your date.

 

The assignment for Week 51 is No Auditioning. In j’s words, “There are things you should do for love, like: be fearless, trust, get vulnerable, forgive […] but you should never have to audition for love, this week… or ever.”

The assignment for Week 52 is to Draw a Self-Portrait. “Don’t worry, this isn’t an artistic thing (necessarily), it’s more of a “what do you want to capture about you and your life RIGHT NOW” thing. It doesn’t matter if the portrait looks like you, or even if it looks like a person. Here’s what I wish for you.
1) That you are able to let go of any notion of good or bad, or right or wrong here; that, instead, you are able to dance with yourself, capture the you that maybe only you know.
2) That you draw yourself lovingly. Even if your picture is about what scares or frustrates you, draw it as a friend would – with compassion, with tenderness.”

How was your week? Did you love the one you were with? Do you think people around you are distracted by their phones? Or are they just plain uninterested?

PS: If you’re interested in joining us, you don’t have to have the e-guide to play, but if you’d like it, you can buy it in the shop.

2015, December 15

Going on an adventure

The assignment for last week in the year of loving ourselves fearlessly was to go on an adventure. Truth be told, I couldn’t go on just any adventure, because I stayed home in bed with a cold for four out of five days of the week, but on Saturday, I went to a Christmas Concert.

I went over to my mom’s place and helped her with some cleaning, took some lovely #25DayBookmas photos (since 99% of my books live there), we had lunch together, and then headed downtown. Somehow I haven’t seen Union Square in the evening yet as it’s all lit up, so we went by there and had a leisurely stroll through the Santa’s Village handmade fair looking at all the cute presents on display. From there, we headed to church for the Christmas Concert.

I’ve mentioned this concert before in a travel article I wrote about Christmastime here in my city. Each year I try to attend my old high school’s Christmas concert. The concert is held at the Downtown Reformed Church about a week before Christmas.

The church has recently been renovated, so the whole experience and concert was even more magical than in previous years. It was packed, just as always, and my mom and I managed to squeeze into a seat (both of us in the same seat, yes). After about twenty minutes though, we gave our seat to an older woman and remained standing for the rest of the concert.
It was on the longer side, they had a short performance by the middle school choir, the main performance by the high school choir, and a short performance by the former alumni choir who also performed a few carols together with the high school choir.

It was such a wonderful evening! A true, magical adventure. I took some pics and videos, go see on Instagram, as they’re currently at the top of my feed.

The assignment for Week 50 is to Love the One You’re With. I have to share what j says about this, as it’s something that drives me nuts, too.
“True confessions: It makes me crazy when people I’m with interrupt our conversation to engage with their cell phones. One of the reasons that I don’t have a smart phone is because I think it might turn me into someone who does that. Honestly, I don’t want to be that plugged in. I don’t want to make anyone else feel the way I’ve felt sitting across from someone in the wake of their decision that whatever is happening on their phone is more important than… well… me.
Because, don’t kid yourself. That’s the decision you’ve made when you answer your phone, or text, or check your email-Twitter-Facebook-stock-stats while someone sits across from you, waiting for you to get back to them.
This week, if it’s not an emergency, don’t do it. Pay attention to the people in your real, physical world. Watch. Listen. Choose, consciously, to love the one you’re with. They’ve showed up, after all. The least you can do is show up too.”

How was your week? Did you go on an adventure? Do you usually follow your heart and go out on your own for adventures? Or do you need a little push from family or friends to get out of your comfort zone or your daily routine?

PS: If you’re interested in joining us, you don’t have to have the e-guide to play, but if you’d like it, you can buy it in the shop.

%d bloggers like this: