How to Establish Mental Freedom

eternal_sunshine_by_velocitysc43As the 4th of July approaches here in the United States we celebrate our freedom and independence as a country. Yet, all of us know that this Holiday means so much more then that. Besides the patriotic aspect, I also look at the celebration of freedom on more of a personal level.For myself, feeling mentally “free” is an on-going battle. I stress out way too much over things I have little or no control over. I worry about things that haven’t happened yet or may not even happen at all and I dwell on the the past. I’ve spent countless nights awake in bed wondering why I didn’t do or say something differently. As an intelligent logical person I know how this is a waste of precious time, but logic kind of goes out the window sometimes.

For a long time I felt that I could only feel “free” if I fixed certain things about myself or my life. The truth is the only thing that was holding me back from feeling “free” was myself. It took me 32 years to come to this realization and to be honest there are days when I have to remind myself I am in control of myself.

One of the most “freeing” things you can do immediately is to stop taking things personally. Falling victim to others negativity and criticism takes up a large amount of energy. Doing this is easier said then done, but it is truly liberating.

Another helpful tip- accept things for what they are. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “it is what it is.” Just accept it. Don’t belly ache over what something should/could/would have been. Move on.

If there are people in your life who are just weighing you down with their drama and negativity, it is time to cut them loose. It’s unfortunate, but sometimes friends and even family can be toxic. Don’t allow yourself to be victimized by these emotional vampires. There are so many loving, loyal, and accepting people out there.

Finally, practice forgiveness. When we forgive someone we release any of the power that we have over us. Forgiveness is not about saying whatever happened was “okay” it is more about just letting it go.

Happy Independence Day to all!

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Stop feeling badly about yourself

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Lately I have not felt like myself, and have not had much motivation to blog. Right now I’m in one of those ruts where it’s very difficult to motivate myself to do anything, especially school work. I’m burned out.

Art school is demanding. No matter how creative you are or how much you love art, you’ll reach a point that you will feel like you’ve been sucked dry of imagination. It’s not that it is hard, but you’ve crossed the line between something you used to do for enjoyment to something you are now doing to make money. Then there is the criticism that makes my eyes roll so far back into my head. It’s not that I can’t handle constructive criticism. I feel it is necessary in life so that we can grow as people. Yet, I do not believe we should change who we are to meet the approval of others nor should we change our artwork to suit the likes of others. There have been several times I’ve had to scrap projects and do them all over again just to meet the satisfaction of a Professor even though I put a lot of effort into my project. Art is subjective, or so I thought. So I began to question myself and if I am doing the right thing. Is my artwork good enough to not be bad, but not good enough to be great? Then my confidence goes out the window and I start doing things the way other people want them rather then what I want to do.

Then comes the peer comparisons. There will always be people who are better at something then you are. As an Artist you must acknowledge and accept this from the beginning. Comparing yourself to others is discouraging. Competing with others is unproductive.  Being pretentious and full of yourself is ignorant. Admitting that you make mistakes, learning from them, and continuously working to improve yourself is honorable.

In times of frustration it is important to remember this.

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Portrait of a Thirtysomething – Jamie Wiley

So honored to be interviewed by http://omgimthirty.com/

OMG I'm Thirty

We’re thrilled to bring you the third interview in our series, “Portrait of a Thirtysomething.” This time we were lucky enough to get the fabulous Jamie Wiley, of the blog Sincerely, Miss Design, to agree to be interviewed. Jamie’s got an inspiring story that reminds us that you can change the course of your life at any point and that’s it’s never too late for a new path. I also loved what she had to say about toxic relationships…Read on!

Name/Age/Location:  Jamie Wiley, 32, Allentown Pennsylvania

Occupation:  Real Estate Appraisal Coordinator (aka Glorified Secretary) and full time Graphic Design student

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What’s the accomplishment you’re most proud of in your 30s so far?

By the time I was 31 I came to the realization that the things I wanted career wise were not just going to fall into my lap. When I graduated college 13 years ago I…

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How to be more productive as a multi-tasker

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In every area of my life, whether it be school work or home, I multitask to the highest level. There are certain activities that I dub as “time wasters.” It is not that they are necessarily unimportant, but are things you can do while doing something else at the same time. For instance, do you have any idea how much you can get done while you are brushing your teeth? A lot! I can feed my cats, pick up around the house, and switch the laundry all within those 3 minutes. I already feel that I am productive person, however the constant multitasking leads me to “forget” to do things. My mind is not completely there while I’m doing one thing because I am thinking about or doing something else. So, I decided to take a breath, step back, and figure out how to be productive without multi-tasking so much.

1.) Write stuff down. I bought a tiny little notebook at Target for $2 that I can stick in my purse and pull out whenever I remember something that needs to be done. It also doubles as a place to jot down my grocery lists and any ideas I may get for designs, writing, etc. In addition to my mini notebook, I also have a mini calendar to keep track of appointments and assignment deadlines. Of course I could use my phone to do this, but I prefer to write it down.

2.) Get up early and get stuff done. When I have off on weekends I get up around 7:30 am without an alarm. This is because I try to maintain the same sleep schedule as I do during work days. Once I’m awake I like to tackle tasks as soon as possible. Like the grocery shopping. I don’t think anyone could hate grocery shopping as much as I do. Later I usually indulge in an afternoon nap, which I deserve.

3.) Stay away from social media. Most of us are guilty of mindlessly grabbing our phones or iPads only to spend countless minutes or hours scrolling through feeds. When you need to be productive, steer clear of social media and mindless Internet browsing. Removing yourself from social media can actually be very liberating. As my assignments in school began to pick up I had less time to browse Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. At first I felt so disconnected, but now I recognize how much time I was wasting on social media.

4.) Get some coffee. Eat some chocolate. Indulge. It’s no secret that I love my lattes. I can’t start the day without one or at least something caffeinated. Enjoying something you love before you get down to business makes doing monotonous tasks a little bit easier.

5.) Prioritize. Now that you are up early, have your coffee or treat, and your to-do list it’s time to prioritize. First and foremost I address the “must do” tasks like school assignments, paying the bills, making phone calls, etc. Then I move on to the “should do” tasks like exercising or putting away laundry.

Now, go get stuff done!

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Where I’ve been for the past month

When I decided to start blogging my goal was to commit to at least one post a week and to visit my Followers sites to comment and support them. Unfortunately, with the class that I was taking last month it was virtually impossible. This particular class, Digital Story Boarding, was very demanding. The assignments took days and hours. It was incredibly frustrating and the first time since I started school that I seriously considered stopping. I felt like a machine and drawing wasn’t fun anymore. I pushed myself with the help of my Husband and made it through. Yesterday was the start of my next class, which seems like the work load is very light. Next month I’ll actually have 2 classes at the same time, so perhaps it is a break.

I thought I’d share my work throughout this past month.

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