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!

sincerelysignature

 

 

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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.

sincerelysignature

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!

sincerelysignature

Goodbye 2014!

First things first, I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions. Throughout the years I’ve attempted all of the typical resolutions people make at the beginning of a new year. I vowed to lose weight, stop swearing, and even eliminate my daily $4 latte. I have failed miserably at any resolution I’ve ever made. So even though the new year brings the sense of a “fresh start,” the truth is you can start over again at any time.

The start of a new year is an excellent way to motivate oneself and create goals, but I believe we should also look back on the past year and recognize all of the things we have accomplished.

Personally, I have accomplished several things within the past year that I never expected. After 13 years I decided to go back to college and have been taking classes in an accelerated program in addition to working a full time job. I will graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in 2016.  It’s been stressful and difficult, but I’ve managed to maintain a 4.0! In addition to that got my first actual client requesting a logo design. In between all that craziness I managed to finish a bunch of illustrations and work on my techniques. I started this blog, never thinking I’d have 20 followers let alone a little bit over 100! Those are just a few of the major accomplishments I’ve obtained over the past year. So, what is in store for 2015? I really have no idea. Life just seems to work out better for me when I don’t have a plan.

So, goodbye 2014, thank you for the good times and bad, the challenges presented, the goals that were achieved as well the ones lost, for the lessons learned, the amazing opportunities, and all of the precious moments you brought!

collagesincerelysignature

 

 

 

Struggles Curvy Girls Know Too Well

If you are a “curvy” girl who often struggles finding clothes that fit properly you MUST watch this video:

Being a “curvy” girl I have experienced all of these struggles firsthand. I’ve been fighting clothing to make it fit as long as I can remember. When I was a teenager in the 90’s (ugh, saying that makes me feel so old), it was extremely rare for any store to carry a pants size larger then an US size 11. All I wanted was a pair of flared jeans! Eventually I resorted to buying mens jeans, which actually fit better then womens, and made my own flared bottoms by cutting them up and sewing pieces of fabric on to make the bottoms wider.

Thankfully, things are different now and many stores carry larger sizes and cuts, but the search for the “perfect fit” still has many pitfalls. I could be a size 14 in one retailers clothing line and a size 10 in another. The size I need is sold out roughly half of the time. Shopping is beyond frustrating at times, but once you find an item that fits your body perfectly, you feel that extra boost of confidence and know that you look amazing!
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  • If you are shopping online, read the reviews! Most online retailers offer a rating system on items they sell. Many reviewers include their measurements or body type so you can better gauge how it will fit you. In turn, post reviews yourself to help out other ladies.
  • Can’t find your size in the store, but it’s available online? Try on something similar at the store in the size your looking for to get a better idea on how it will fit.
  • Fabric that provides stretch is your best friend.

I don’t believe in “one size fits all,” because each of us have our own unique shape!

sincerelysignature