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I felt like making simple pancakes today for breakfast...but realised half way that I didn't have eggs in the house! 
URGHH!
So... facing a disappointed 3yr old who had been promised she could 'help make pancakes'

I had a choice. 

Just make our usual oats and muesli for breakfast
Or
Somehow find and make a NEW recipe for eggless pancakes. 
...
I quickly scrambled to grab my phone and looked up eggless recipes.

Now I should say... I'm no cook. I suck at following recipes - I just can't get exact measurements right and a little part of me prefers to wing it!

But new recipes aren't easy for me! It's like learning a new skill. 

And the added pressure of hangry babies (both the 3yr old & the one in my belly) - there was very little margin for error. 

So I'm pretty happy with how these turned out. Not the best for sure! 
But Indy is happy AND they were edible! 
Which was the main goal!

But I got to thinking about a couple things. 

First,

how easy it would have been to just go back to our usual breakfast. 
Doing what we always do.
Blame the lack of something so that meant I couldn't follow my plan perfectly - so why bother?
Not take another risk when it may mean tantrums and a whole morning of wasted ingredients if it doesn't turn out. 
Not to mention, HANGRY!

Well, then I miss out on learning something new 

(I prob won't use that recipe again - because I prefer my simple recipe WITH eggs!) 

but I also learnt

however subliminally 

that I CAN solve problems that come my way

that a lack of the right tools doesn't have to be the end of the road

that taking a risk (however small) is OK

that if I let go of the exact outcomes - I can still get a sense of play, experimentation & quality time skill sharing with my little girl!

What little way could you be missing out on being a little more creative in your day?

Even in a small tiny way?

Even in a very imperfect and 'ordinary' way?

Second

I got to thinking also, of how I (& probably all of us) use our creativity in little ways every day.

We're not robots - not just bumbling along following a preset formula and routine that we repeat day in day out.

When we play
When we listen to music and make another playlist
When we take photos of something on the weekend
When we retell a story over dinner
When we coordinate our schedules to squeeze in one more appointment AND still make that movie
When we cook
When we solve problems like having no eggs

What little creative activity do you do everyday but don't acknowledge? 

How would it change how you nurtured your creativity if you saw just HOW MUCH you use it daily?

Cooking is a creative activity I like, 
But
am totally not good at, 
doesn't come naturally to me
Yet
 I enjoy the fruits of it - eating, seeing master chefs creating their art, watching shows on it
and 
wish I could do more of!
but I never seem to have the time!

Or honestly, I SAY that I don't have the time. 

That I like having ALL the right 'tools' and ingredients.
That I don't like wasting all that food when it doesn't work out (which is frequent unfortunately)

Sometimes I blame my lack of some appliance or other (even though I wouldn't know how to use it!)

Sometimes I make it a HUGE DEAL and need 5 hours because it's go big or go home...

But there are little moments when I remember...

NOW is the time

It only takes a moment to choose to move forward

It only takes the DECISION to choose 'what the hell, lets try it!'

And to acknowledge and be SO grateful for the opportunity to connect, learns and PLAY. 

With my inner child, with my actual child and with creativity and the Muse.  

Even in small, ordinary ways. 

Which only serves to boost my confidence to try more 'ambitious' recipes. 
Or even
*gasp*
Make up one of my own!

Just from a small, ordinary plate of eggless pancakes...

x Brenda

p.s CREATIVITY CATALYST is launching this week!! 
For us creatives who want a little bit of structure (think 25 days of creativity immersion with simple daily exercises/workshops to connect with the Muse)
To nurture our creative practice into a deeper connection of chaotic play with creative purpose. 

For first dibs on early bird pricing ($100 savings!) and free training

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TIME

Specifically, time for creativity

Time to do something that gives you joy and expresses yourself.

Time to express your soul - if you want to go down that road! (I do!)

...

Or you know, just having fun!

Playing uses more creativity than we realise.

...

Not having enough of it

Trying to 'find it'
Find 'more' of it
Making it
Squeezing it from elsewhere in your life

...

But you're on your phone right now. Or Facebook Or Instagram Or the dark hole of emails

You 'found' time to do that.

>

You managed to find a way to 'squeeze' that in

You 'made time' to watch the new season of whatever just came out.

...

Now, I'm talking as much to ME as to you here.

I'm all for social media and I love me some mindless scrolling.

It's awesome and quick way to stay in touch.

It's great to see the amazing creations other people are making!

I also love it for inspiration gathering

PLUS

It's a great way to decompress after a long day of work, kid wrangling, house maintaining, physical self maintaining and ALL.THE.THINGS

I totally get that! I'm not saying don't do it ever ever again.

But too much consuming means you just get full and bloated from other people's creation.

Or like junk food, you never really get truly full and nourished and you're always going back for more. But never being fully satisfied.

Too fat and tired to create.

You lose the muscles, skills or even energy to create.

There is a line - from being filled with inspiration and using that energy to create on one side

AND

being addicted to just taking taking takin in and nothing going out

Constipation comes to mind.

Are you getting creativity constipation?

(OMG am I actually just talking about constipation? I'm writing this from flow and not letting my logical mind from editing this message I felt called to share!)

Now, I wrangle a 3 year old full time. House. Work. Relationships. And being pregnant makes everything SO MUCH SLOWER.

I do feel your pain. And that bloated feeling, I am LITERALLY feeling that if I eat my usual amount of food. There is literally something inside me waiting to COME OUT. and I can't consume too much or I will suffer some serious pain.

BUT!! Hard truth time.

We all have the same amount of time as Beyonce (who just had twins!) or that person you know who juggles ALL THE THINGS

Before we get all shamey and guilty about how shit we are.

Just truly think to yourself, maybe you're just not prioritising your creativity.

Which is totally fine! Maybe in this season of life, you life is full of all the things you value right now. If so, let go of the guilt and shame and stand firmly in the choice you have made. You go girl!

...

But if you're not. I think you know what I'm trying to say.

Sure, you're busy and all. But if you're being honest with yourself... you haven't truly prioritised your creativity.

Not really in the way that is important to you

Yes - it helps if it was for work... If it was a work deadline and someone else is waiting on you. You totally would do it.

As someone who uses my creativity daily professionally, yeah, maybe it is easier for us to do it. DAILY. ON CUE.

But also not. There is a difference between doing something JUST FOR WORK.

and something for creative expression.

All you creatives know what I mean. 

You get burnt out on work stuff and don't feel the joy of being immersed in it. Of the play and fun.
Of the joy in being so INSPIRED that the creations POUR OUT of you. 

Also, you'll notice that your work starts to get a bit stale. A bit same same... dull

I'm talking about truly being in flow.

Not the forced-I-need-something-done-now kind.

The playful, fun kind!

...

So are you making it IMPORTANT for you and really your IDENTITY that you connect with your creativity?

Not just put it on your calendar like an appointment.

But also prioritised in a way that you prioritise stuff that you don't EVEN THINK ABOUT anymore.

I'm talking:

Having your morning coffee.
Eating food. Showering
Doing Laundry
Exercising
Posting a snap on your Instagram
Watching that TV show.
Having dinners out.
Reading reviews of hotels & tourists spots for your next holiday destination.


I know, there are some serious consequences IF YOU DON'T DO some of those things. Like life or death type.

What if you could see your creativity and doing something creative is just part of your EVERYDAY.

A habit.

An ordinary, perfectly simple and maybe even 'boring' habit.

Not some giant ass project that you do and then it's done.

Maybe it isn't 'time' that's stopping you but your Resistance.
Resistance to this image of your creativity being built up to be this BIG ASS THING that has to be done in this PERFECT WAY. 

which includes 5 hours of UNINTERRUPTED time and ALL your tools and making something PERFECT and BEAUTIFUL and it feels in flow and fun and joyful.....

OMG no..

I get maybe a total of 8-ish hours of time to do my creative work. PER WEEK. I do this professionally people!!!

Uninterrupted? maybe an hour or two on my 2 work days. Which are also the days I run errands and do a bout a million other admin/marketing/sales/customers service/logistics and general non-creating part of life. 

And believe me. I feel you. I honestly do.

I still daydream of long days of just playing in my studio and following whatever comes across my imagination.

But if I kept daydreaming, it becomes another form of consuming. But from my mind.

The muscles still get weak and the constipation is still there.

And to be honest? My own mind interrupts me! The inner critic. Other monkey mind things.

My suggestion? Embrace the Imperfection.

Treat it as part of your everyday - and do something SMALL and even if it feels too ordinary and 'why even bother'? 

Bother because it's part of maintaining the habit. Part of putting out something so you don't get constipated!

Another way I stay connected?
Noticing that some things I do - like taking photos of Indigo doing something - I tap into my creativity just a little. 

I don't acknowledge it but when I do, I reconnect to it. 

Kinda like noticing when your partner does something small for you - like switch on your electric blanket so it's warm when you go to bed - it's so every day that you don't notice it anymore.

And yet, when you do AND you acknowledge it? It helps you reconnect deeper doesn't it! 

What if you thought of your creativity as a relationship to a part of yourself that is just as important as a loved one.

Like any relationship that is important to you, you know how essential it is to make the effort AND TIME to connect and reconnect.

Neglecting it doesn't mean it will go away.

Neglect means some serious consequences BUT you've just learnt to live with it.

There is that general sadness in the air. Where you both look longingly at each other but the gap between you is only getting bigger everyday.

I'm talking feeling like something is missing.

Feeling a little lost. Like there is something you haven't done.

Not feeling satisfied.

All the usual 'fun' things you do like watching another viral video just isn't enough anymore.

It's the eating too much junk food unsatisfied feeling.

You can ignore it for a while but when it really gets your attention. It can feel even HARDER and more OVERWHELMING to try to fix it then.

So I know some people just put it down as 'I'm just not really that creative'

or 'I don't have time for that - it was something I did when I was younger' (and had more time I presume)

Like any relationship that you've lost touch with. I know it may feel like you need to go BIG! Like couples holiday! or do something extravagant! 12 dozen roses! Go skydiving together?! Quit your job and make 100 artworks for 100 days straight!

But what if you just started with something small. Something almost everyday and seemingly not 'worth the effort'.

We like simple and 'ordinary' because it means you're more likely to do it more often. Maybe even daily!

Like making a cup of tea and spending 10mins together to talk about your day. 
(for me that's journaling & reflecting on inspiration or ideas of where I feel that my current creative project is going. It reconnects me to my creative practice)

Like taking 2 minutes to acknowledge one another and connecting (& committing) to connect again in the middle of the busy-ness of your day. 
(for me that's taking photos of little things I see in my environment that my creative self points out. Like a little kid, that notices something new, different or it connects the dots on something you've been thinking about 

Or just jotting down that random idea or quote or song or colour that strikes me. No questions asked about why or for what. I just notice, acknowledge it and record it for reference later. 

I think it's the acknowledgement part that keeps me in good relationship with my creative practice. EVEN when I'm in the middle of pushing the shopping trolley and trying to navigate a busy grocery store with a hungry, tired 3 year old.)

...

I bet, if you really dug deep. You'll know within. An inner knowing if you like.
That little voice that's been calling out to you to 'come play with me!' or 'I miss you - I miss us!'

And you will KNOW what one small thing you can do, something 'ordinary' and simple you can do to reconnect.

Don't question if it's 'good enough' or 'enough to make a difference'.

Just start. Embrace the Imperfection of it. 

and then, you'll find you don't need to FIND time. You've found something better. You've found the little spark you need to make that relationship AMAZING again.

x Brenda

RE: CREATIVITY CATALYST - my new course is coming SOON which is why all this talk of creativity is humming within me.
SIGN UP BELOW to the interest list for first dibs on early bird pricing and free training on my process with the creativity. 

It's 25 days of immersion to cultivate our creative practice.

With simple & quick daily workshops, exercises or prompts to connect with the Muse so your creativity stays in chaotic AND consistent flow. 

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Gratitude is in the air.

SOOO MUCH has happened since the last time I wrote you in these monthly updates! 

So, June - I ran my first EVER online intentional art making course-workshop-class-thingy.

I like calling it my Deliberate Doodles Workshop because it's more than just passive learning, which a 'course' feels like.

You actually need to workshop through some meaty concepts - lots of self reflection as well as general, practical How-Tos of my art making process.

If you're like - Ooooo that sounds totally interesting and have NO IDEA what I'm talking about: check it out here >>> Deliberate Doodles (Sign up for the Free resources and go through the 5 day challenge where you get a taste of the process and develop your own Deliberate Doodles practice. Nurture your creative practice in partnership with your mindfulness practice too. All with a simple pen and paper)

Anyway, I digress.

In the middle of that online course - workshop running and general hanging out with awesome students who are so AMAZING at trying something new.
Diving into my process.
Learning about themselves. 
Exploring their own unique marks. 
Reflecting on their own flavour of doodles and drawings. 
Mindfully observing their thoughts as they went on this journey. 

I had a mini family holiday / babymoon in Fiji.

It was BEAUTIFUL. 

And you would think that is why I'm feeling the gratitude in the air.

Which I mean, I totally am! 

But there were some days, when the amount of tired whingeyness + 3 year old happiness yelling + pregnant belly painful kicks just OVERFLOWED MY CUP OF ANNOYANCE.

you know what I mean?

these wallpapers are available in the Insider library exclusively for insider members - please sign up here to gain access. Join today as older editions are removed when new artwork is released every month)

It's like, I 'SHOULD' be grateful.

I'm in a GORGEOUS tropical island.

The weather is just PERFECT. Not so hot that you're sweating like a pig (pregnant lady sweating ain't pretty y'all)

But hot enough that I could just hang out in my travel dress blowing in the breeze. 

We were walking distance to the beach where there was barely a handful of people so there was stretches of sand to just walk and daydream. 

A pool and lounges to hang out in - where the only concern was: Do we have fairy floss today? Or ice cream?

Ok - yeah it was pretty amazing. 

My point is that, it's only when you're able to see the whole bigger picture? That the gratitude can feel so much easier. Almost obvious. You know?

BUT

again, that's not really why I'm feeling the gratitude in the air.

Indigo and I promptly got sick once we returned home. Like the usual sore throat, chesty cough stuff.

I got the usual mum version, where it's bad enough to feel a bit shit. But not enough to really take a day off to stay in bed.

Because 3 year olds with the usual chesty coughs still has THINGS TO DO and wants to still PLAY AND BE ENTERTAINED but with a healthy dose of short temper and irritation due to said illness. 
So there was that. 

Nothing like feeling grateful for your health when you DON'T ACTUALLY HAVE IT.

Like losing my voice the week after. After I thought to myself - Ooo I should get back to doing some work I'm behind on because 1 week of illness 'should' be over next week.

Ummm...no.

I mean, it is good sometimes (maybe not while you're in voiceless-hell where your throat is on fire) to be reminded on the things you HAD that you are so grateful for.

I am so grateful that my sore throat is gone. 

I am so grateful for a loving husband who had to pick up the slack as the girls in his life wallow in a pool of self-pity and hangry moods...that could just have been me....

I'm not talking about that.

Not the 'you SHOULD BE' grateful type burdens.

Even if you DO TOTALLY FEEL GRATEFUL

But the goosebumps, sense of awe and blessing washing over you type gratitude.

The kind of gratitude that has the power in being able to change your day. 

Your mood. Your mindset. The way the whole world reacts to you!

Sometimes it just strikes you out of the blue! Like a surprise knock to the head.

Other times, you have to really work at it. Mindfully, consciously, almost fight-your-own-damm-bad-mood-self and REFRAME and CLAIM that feeling for yourself. 

That's what I'm talking about. That's what I'm feeling in the air. (What I'm learning to re-create in the air if I have to)

Also, the way that art gets created when made from that place.

I'm thinking the majesty of the Sistine Chapel.

Van Gogh's paintings of the landscapes.

Any painting where you can almost viscerally FEEL the JOY AND BEAUTY OF LIFE pulsating from the brushstrokes.

Or like the 'Happy' song. 

The beaming smile of a 3 year old when you say OK, yes! Let's get a cupcake for morning tea.

The intricacies of a baby being 'knitted together' in the womb without any conscious effort from the mother.

Or...just like our last day in Fiji. Literally the last day there. On the flight home. Looking out the window as the captain did his little speech to welcome us all aboard the flight. 
Like literally as we were taking off. There was THE MOST AMAZING SUNSET we had ever seen in our lives.

The colours. The combination of colours - Like having the best photo filters over it but it's ACTUALLY REAL LIFE. The way the clouds reflected the light.

Hubby and I were trying to take photos - but in the end no camera could do the colours justice.

I could only just sit there and try to sear those colours into my memory.

It was like all of creation was singing out loud IN SUCH JOY to God at the majesty and beauty of all that we could see in that huge horizon.

Any art where you can FEEL the heart and soul of the artist and the resonance of expression for all the beauty they see in their world.

May this new wallpaper be a reminder of your simple choice in ANY moment of your day.

To choose that true sense of gratitude. Sunset or not.

To feel it in your bones, in every cell.

You could be creating your own kind of art just within yourself!

And I bet, you will see it reflected in the world around you.

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Show Up

When It Seems Impossible

Do What You Can

When You Want To Start Over 



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Show Up 
Show Up
Show Up
& After awhile the muse shows up too

There is a misconception… that has occasionally developed into a deceiving lie. That creative people, like me, are just SO FULL of creative inspiration that we HAVE TO create art. 

Like a bubbling, overflowing pot that’s about to burst forth and that’s what the end result is. The artwork. An expression of something that couldn’t be contained.

...

In some ways, that is true.
There are magical moments like that where you just feel like you’re possessed.

Obsessed.

Positively mad & so full of energy that you know you do HAVE TO ride this wave and create the thing that’s bursting to be born.

It’s intense and crazy and sometimes really awesome. 

besides the burn out

and our very human need to sleep, eat, play & all those normal things. 

The other way? 

That’s the 90% of all creative endeavours. 

Especially when, like me, you’re doing this as your job.

There really isn’t a magic formula. Every creative, especially those with a sustainable creative practice, has some form or other of this formula.

You show up.

You do the work in front of you.

You go home & rest.

Tomorrow, you show up again and repeat. 

Some of us like to infuse music.
Some like to start with a ritual of research, the perfect cup of coffee or an exercise routine.
Others sleep in until the afternoon before stepping into their respective studios.

But in the end that ‘formula’ is the same. 

The muse can’t show up to shower you with that intense energy of creativity to be burst forth on the canvas,

if you’re not there STANDING in front of the canvas. 

...

I use to keep a sketchbook journal where I wrote a lot of notes.

My sketchbook was never anything arty & fancy. I didn’t paint in it much or do full-page drawings. Yes, there are plenty of doodles and sketches. Mainly just notes.

Nowadays, I love my iPhone. There is a folder in my Evernote called ‘Inspiration for paintings’ I also have notebooks for quotes. Plus my ‘notes’ nowadays are just quick random photos from my everyday life.

I’ve found, with the fullness of a mama life, I have to be prepared for little notes of inspiration from the muse no matter where I am.

Before kids, I was usually in the studio and I could just start on the inspiration straight away. At the very least I was only a few steps away.

Nowadays, I could literally be doing the grocery run, hands full of trolleys, toddlers & tantrums. 

So if something makes me stop for a moment, I’ve learnt to just notice. To catch the whisper of inspiration before if fades.

Just notice! that’s a practice too!

I take a photo and know that my weekly photo reviewing will mean I will put it into the appropriate notebook. If I have an extra second, I put it into the notebook straightaway with notes. 

...

That’s why, questions like: where do you get your ideas?

is such a hard one to answer.

It could have been a single moment during a very busy, monkey mind day.
My intuitive mind stopped everything to focus on this flower I noticed on my way to buy milk. It was only a split second, but the pause was definitely there. 

And that somehow, when reviewed with my notes, inspired another photo of this texture I saw while I was walking to the cafe during a kinder run.

Mixed with maybe a half dozen other inspirations I don’t even know I’m thinking of.

My days are already so full that I only have time to just create from these ideas that are waiting patiently to be created.

Most days, I don’t have the time, or energy or mind space to back track my incredibly crazy, complex & multi-directional ideas to where they originated from. 

And to be honest, I'll rather just create than question the source of the inspiration. 

...

So instead of waiting for inspiration to strike, show up at the easel. 
Show up at the writing table
Show up to the guitar/piano/drum set
Show up in the kitchen.
If you wait until you have the idea, you’ve probably missed the moment when the muse shows up. She’s fickle like that.


(these wallpapers are available in the Insider library exclusively for insider members - please sign up here to gain access. Join today as older editions are removed when new artwork is released every month)

Some days I may not feel like it either. 

Like there is a huge cloud covering my minds eye on where to go next. 

I’ve found that just showing up in the studio still helps. Even if all I do is clear up my space.

The act of decluttering can also work it’s own magic. It creates a kind of stirring up of the bottom of the river.
Something may uncover itself in your mind as you’re consciously occupied in something mundane. 

There is also a kind of silence when you’re just in your space. Even if it’s just sitting in front of the screen with the blank page.

Start with these to show up, show up, show up:

  1. Keep a folder of ideas & notes to cultivate your inspiration garden. 
  2. Show up at your ‘space’ of creation anyway & touch your tools. Paints, pens, keyboard, clay, wool. Clearing, cleaning, tidying & decluttering can also help stir up some of that dusty fog in your mind.
    At the very least, it clears a space both physically (or even just digital folders) to make room for the new creation that you must TRUST is coming.
  3. Just START. Know that it will be bad, release the pressure for perfection and get some paint onto that canvas. Words onto that blank page. Fingers on the keyboard. 

where do you get your ideas?

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You may also enjoy what I shared for these wallpaper artwork:

When It Seems Impossible

Do What You Can

Let us Begin

When You Want To Start Over 

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I created the masterpiece of a lifetime the other day. 

Along with my dream morning of going to the beach, getting the best hair cut, working in my perfect studio, playing with my delightful child and eating the yummiest dinner.
That I made. From scratch. By hand. 

Also, obviously, winning the lottery. 

For daydreams, it was one of the best.

Now, I'm not here to dismiss daydreaming, or visualisations of your ideal life.

I want you to note the 'created the masterpiece' part. 

So many amazing creations are done in my head. 

Best paintings.
Witty emails.
New products and online workshops
All created out of thin air so perfectly in my mind.

The issue really only happens when they stay there.

Or worse, when I say to myself: 

'Oh that was a nice dream, if only it could happen it real life. But it could never so let's forget it and get on with my day.'

It's the same feeling I get when I meet people who talk to me about my artwork

they gush about how Creative I must be. 

How Amazing it is to have such talent. 

And here is the punch line....

How they wish they could paint but....

they could NEVER paint because they just AREN'T creative. 

This isn't EVERYONE who compliments my work - most of my fans and certainly my collectors are amazing creative & lovely people. They express their love & I can see that they express their creativity in different ways to mine by our conversations & also just by their art collection. 

Now, I am totally happy to accept all flattery and positive, loving feedback about my work & art.

Working in the studio is a solo and sometimes, lonely solitary activity. 

Showing the art that was created does feel vulnerable and scary. So getting that positive feedback is more than welcome to calm the nerves.

It's the CERTAINTY with which they say such negative things about their own creativity that makes me uneasy.

I mean, did they actually TRY painting? 

Did they actually do it for a decent amount of time and give it a good go? 

Before they shut that down and say things like NEVER and SO NOT CREATIVE. 

Do they know that creative doesn't just mean painting? 

There is music, cooking, writing, making films, acting, dancing, creating businesses, creating books, creating festivals, creating anything really. Like cakes, cubby houses, actual houses, even spreadsheets. 

The other thing I've also found alot is, those who shower me with such compliments but is also very quick to dismiss their own creativity? They also dismiss my work just as quickly. 

As in, they don't take the time to connect with it deeply. They don't stand in front of the artwork to look within and see and feel something deeper. I think it's hard to appreciate someone else's creativity while dismissing your own. The sad thing is, sometimes I can see how much they yearn to collect art but can't even bring themselves to do that either! Whether that's a painting like mine or something simple like a beautiful hand made vase. I know how much JOY there is in being surrounded by beauty and art. 

Shutting down your own creativity tends to shut down other's too. 

But it also makes me think about me. (p.s I've found it insightful to turn things around when something/someone is bothering me consistently. What if everyone or everything is a mirror? What could you learn about yourself you never saw before?)

What am I totally dismissing about myself without actually trying?

 What am I ignoring because I am holding a firm (yet unproved) belief about my abilities without trying to see beyond the box I'm in? 

What am I saying ' that's just the way it is' or 'if only..,' about my situation without taking the time and effort to first, actually 100% try, and second, look beyond what I expect the answer to be? How can I be open to a different answer to achieve my goals?

How about you? 

What are you wishing for an opportunity to do, say, experience that you KNOW you would NEVER or could EVER do?

Is that really true? Have you actually tried with honest to goodness effort? 

Is there another way to play with your creativity without having to be 'whatever or whoever' you're looking up to?




(these wallpapers are available in the Insider library exclusively for insider members - please sign up here to gain access. Join today as older editions are removed when new artwork is released every month)

...

My 3 year old dances at every opportunity. 

If she hears a song playing at the shops she will dance. She loves EMMA from The Wiggles and sees plenty of professional dancers doing their thing beautifully during her limited screen times. 

That doesn't stop her.

She loves moving and music.

She feels it, she does it!

She will WANT me to video her dancing and sometimes insist I join in. 

And no. She's no dance prodigy. It looks more like a random head nodding, leg spasm with a twist of hand & hip twirling thrown in. 

BUT the thing is... I think of her as a dancer. Cos she dances. 

I know how easy it is, (and comfortable) to sit on the sidelines and watch those you admire dancing so beautifully. 

Having the best time. 

You want to enjoy yourself like that. You want to dance with that person you admire too! You wish you could dance beautifully but you just KNOW you could NEVER do it cause you're not a dancer. 

I know that maybe you're not going to look like a professional dancer. But there is a difference between a dancer and a pro dancer. 

What if you're not a dancer simply because you're not dancing?

What are you daydreaming about? Is it a dream home? the dream holiday or a dream weekend retreat? 

The magazines you're browsing, ads you're pausing just a moment longer to watch... Is there a way you can just start doing what you're dreaming of? 

Pick a country and look up flights so you know how much you need to save and by when.  

Call up a girlfriend and promise each other to have a weekend away in a month - and schedule in your leave.

Start with one room in the house and buy that cushion or that artwork (*hint hint shop here) and make a dream room first.

Want to paint? or work with ceramics? 

Look up a creative workshop that teaches basic skills in the area you're interested in and schedule it in. 

Want to write? Grab a pen & paper or sit in front of the computer, set the timer for 15minutes and START WRITING

Want to dance? Turn up the music and just dance. 


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When It Seems Impossible

Do What You Can

Let us Begin

When You Want To Start Over 



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Dear Lovely friend,

This is for you if you're feeling the overwhelm monster looming over your shoulder

This is for you (& really me) who feel the pressure of all your dreams and goals for the year ahead & you haven't begun the way you had hoped on January 1st.

This is for those moments when the task seems bigger than your capacity to even imagine.

This is for you when the bad days that suck so bad drag out into weeks. 

And there isn't even the slightest whiff of relief to come. 

For when the light at the end of the tunnel feels like a figment of your desperate imagination. 

I want to say 'There there. It will be alright' But that just feels like bulls**t.

So all I can say is, with what little energy is left, please keep that spark of faith going. 

The faith in your process. 

The faith in a new sunrise each day. 

The faith that this messy middle will pass and it's actually VITAL for the breakthrough to come.

The faith in the rainbow after the storm. 

Even if you can't see it. 

Especially when you can't see it. Feel it. Or even picture it in your mind.

In those moments when it almost feels too much.  

Or feels 'Totally Hopeless!!' said with a high shrill by Ms Barbara, my inner drama queen.

I like to focus on the next smallest step. 

However 'impossible' there is always a small step forward. 

It may feel so small that there seems to be no point. 

BUT THAT IS THE POINT! 

I just look for the tiny drop in an ocean of overwhelm I can possibly just do right now. 

Then the next step

Then the next. 

Then the next

With lots of breaks in between to drown/sulk in that sea of overwhelm. 

Then the next step

Then with after what feels like a BILLION YEARS AND STEPS

the clouds break. The rainbow shines it's light. 

It's done! 

The ocean of To dos is behind me and I stand on new shores. 

Shores that I couldn't possibly imagine, let alone see in those moments of darkness. 

YAY!

(these wallpapers are available in the Insider library exclusively for insider members - please sign up here to gain access. Join today as older editions are removed when new artwork is released every month)

But for now. I'm with you.

It's dark. It's hard to see past your own nose.

It's all just SO hard. Like dragging your feet through muddy quicksand. 

Everything is a mess. Your files. Your room. Your hair!

You're not doing everything properly. Let alone to the standard of excellence you pride yourself.

Let alone that big ass goal you've set that you were SO SURE. This. IS. The. YEAR! 

...

One small step forward. 

One phone call to connect with family

Schedule one dinner date unto the calendar

Set a timer for 5 minutes to research flights to that dream destination

Start a new document for that blog post

Create a bullet point list of all the main ideas for your new product offering.

Pick one colour. One paintbrush and put something down onto that scary white blank canvas.

Replace colour with an idea. Paintbrush with pen and put something down onto that scary white blank piece of paper. 

You ARE doing an amazing job. 

Keep going. 

I'll see you on the other side

MAY YOU SEE PAST THE IMPOSSIBLE AND TRUST


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Do What You Can

Let us Begin

Beauty Begins The Moment You Decide To Be Yourself

Not Perfect, Whole

Building A Door

When You Want To Start Over 


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The magic is in the air. 

New clean slate.

That new diary/planner smell.

Shiny clean wall calendar with all those blank spaces.

All the hopes and dreams to be found in endless possibilities.

So let's begin!

What do you want to feel throughout 2017?

What do you want To Be?

To do?

To Have?

Look at these areas of your life: Review where you stand. Then what do you want to achieve by the end of 2017

Home/Environment.
Romance.
Friends & Family.
Work/Career.
Spirituality.
Hobby/Thing you do JUST FOR THE JOY.
Physical Health.
Mental/Emotional Health.
Finances.
Personal Development

Set SMART goals.  Set one word intention for the year. Set SMARTER goals. Set 90 day goals. Set Habit goals. What is your 3 year plan? Five year plan? 

...

Hyperventilating yet?

I LOVE planning, but I know that list makes me both excited & anxious. 

Anxious like, I’m going to just curl into a ball in bed for the next month. See you later!

If only I had set myself up earlier.

If only I didn't forget all these appointments in January. So now I'm catching up on that & falling behind of everything else.

If only I had made my 2017 plans before the crazy busyness of Christmas. 

If I had just crossed all those to do lists off AND made the PERFECT plan

I would be so much further along by now.

I would find this work so much easier - just follow the next step

Instead I’m still creating a plan from scratch, tying up loose ends. Starting projects that HAS TO START NOW.

while also catching up on ALL THE THINGS.

No wonder chocolate & TV has featured so heavily in my diet the last few weeks

Overwhelm is coming back - like an old smell that lingers.

No matter how many times you blast that shit with bleach. 

No matter how long you put it in the sun.

That smell…

it smells like fear & regret & doubts & just a hint of self-loathing. Only because you know that YOU KNOW BETTER.

(these wallpapers are available in the Insider library exclusively for insider members - please sign up here to gain access. Join today as older editions are removed when new artwork is released every month)

Start where you are.

Yup it’s totally not perfect.

Yeah, it may be easier if you had just made that to do list and weekly plan LAST week. Instead of right now. In the middle of everything else.

Yeah, probably should have maintain your exercises instead of letting that slip. So now that bad back is another thing to look into

Just put it on the list.

Start where you are.

Pick one thing. Do that thing. Finish that thing.

Pick another ONE thing. Do that.

Keep going until it’s time to go to bed.

Cos that bad back needs sleep lady

...

Sure, it would be totally easier if you had a cleaner, a chef, a housekeeper, a butler, a maid, a nanny, chauffeur, a personal stylist, personal dresser and a host of personal assistants all just waiting to make YOUR life amazing.

Plus all the money in the world to pay for all this & it just falls magically into your lap.

So, you know, you don’t have to worry about taxes and banking and stuff.

OH and a 27hr day would be good thanks!

Maybe if you only need like, 2 hours of sleep?

Use what you DO have.

It can be easy to focus on the gap ahead of you. 

Between where you are and where you want to be.

That gap only grows bigger the longer you stare at it. 

Plus it makes you feel SHIT! about yourself. about your life. ALL. THE. THINGS.

I know when I feel like that, I lose what little energy I have left to keep going.

Instead, look at where you are now. 

Look for what you DO have.

Look back at all that you've done between who you were to who you are now. 

No, not all the things you WISHED you had done. That's looking at the gaps.

I bet there are moments that make you happy & proud of your amazing self & life. 

Yes, this is that gratitude practice you keep hearing about.

What can you do today? 

What do you have on hand?

What one thing, no matter how small, can you say you’re proud of? That you’re happy with.

If you say nothing, you have a different (too big for my expertise) problem and I lovingly suggest you focus on finding someone to talk to and work on your mental and emotional health.

...

You DO have something!

You’re reading this! (*patting myself on the back* Ha! No, seriously I thank you for connecting with me here. All my love!)

You made time to think about yourself! 

You know you have the next 5 minutes to do a brain dump and write down ALL THE THINGS. 

Once it’s out of your head, you’ll instantly feel lighter. 

The overwhelm may still linger, but you can SEE it and it is contained onto that sheet of paper.

You have a pen. You have a piece of paper.

Pick one thing on that list. The most important. Most urgent. I don’t care.

Yes there are strategies to a more ‘efficient system’

but right now that smell isn’t going away and you ain't go no time to go learn another new system.

pick one thing. do that one thing. You’ll feel empowered and get some energy back to keep going.

I also know that YOU KNOW one thing you can do. Been wanting to try. Had done before but fell off that bandwagon.

Whatever it is, you know that one thing will help lift you up and move one baby step forward. 

Not asking for the perfect thing. Nor a miracle here. 

I just know as you're reading this, something popped up in your head like a little hopeful hand waving at you. Go do that thing.

Do what you can

While you’re doing that one thing on your list. Something WILL COME UP. 

You will hit a roadblock. 

Your back will give out a bit. You’ll walk like an old old lady. An old lady with arthritis. Painfully slowly and in pain.

Someone may vomit all over you. Or you're the one stuck in the toilet.

You may need something you don’t actually have and didn’t know you needed or even how you're going to get it.

Basically all the signs will scream at you to STOP.

You’re going the wrong way.

You’re the wrong person for this job

You’re doing it wrong

You’re just not good enough.

That’s what the voices will say. Yes, you have voices in your head now on top of that bad back.

It’s not a sign to stop

it’s not a sign that you’re doing the wrong thing

it’s definitely not a sign you're the wrong person. 

What if it’s just part of the process?

If it was totally easy, you would have done it already remember? 

What if it's a sign that you're on the way? Bumps and potholes as a way to boost your determination. Your energy. Your resolve.

So what to do?

You do what you can.

if you need to pause a moment to get the tools you need. Do that

If you need to ask for help. Do that

If you need to put it aside, because something else moved up the priority list? Do that!

If you can put aside the emotional attachment that what happened was a personal attack on you - you can keep going.

which will then make you feel stronger, better & more empowered. Which starts the circle of happy which means more energy and motivation to keep going. Before you know it, your ambitious self will be back. Your super powers will come help you kick ass.

And you’ll remember all that awesome you're looking for? You’ve always had within you.

MAY YOU FIND THE MAGIC WAS IN YOU ALL ALONG


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You may also enjoy what I shared for these wallpaper artwork:

Let us Begin

Beauty Begins The Moment You Decide To Be Yourself

Not Perfect, Whole

Building A Door

Mercy Triumphs Over Judgment

When You Want To Start Over 

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    You know that feeling at the end of the work week...

    and you start to switch off before it's even 3pm Friday?

    That anti-climatic fizzing out feeling. 

    Maybe it's almost the end of a project.
    End of a season.
    End of the year.

    You start daydreaming of what's to come.

    Weekend plans. Next quarter projects. 
    That ONE thing you TOTALLY WILL do when the clock strikes midnight and it's January first.

    fffiiizzzzz...pppssssshhhh....  

    That's the sound of all motivation and productivity fizzling out.

    (these wallpapers are available in the Insider library exclusively for Insider members - please sign up here to gain access. Join today as older editions are removed when new artwork is released)

    I was feeling really lethargic after days of resting. 

    instead of resting i was resisting.

    Doing other things instead of the work I needed to do.

    The momentum had slowed down. I could feel the energy needed to start pushing the ball forward again. Pushing uphill actually.

    And well...laziness is so comfy isn't it?

    Plus it's already almost the end of the year. Let's just press the snooze button and work on the new year list of to dos instead. I'll do #allthethings....tomorrow/next week/next year!

    I have to keep telling myself to stop looking forward.

    Planning. Worrying. Dreaming.

    Totally counterintuitive for me.
    To stop future thinking.

    Stop dreaming of the future just long enough to see what I need to do today to actually bring my body forward match the vision of my mind.

    Not the thousand steps that will be needed.

    Just the ONE step I need to do (or CAN do) today.

    And also to 'smell the roses'

    To laugh with my family. To enjoy the fruits that were planted yesterday. Just breathe in the sweetness of today.

    Even if I feel sad and disappointed about all those missed targets.

    The dreams and goals that didn't quite happen. 

    That's when I fall back into remembering. Looking back. It's easy for my mind to swing back there too.

    Which way do you normally go? Too much forward? Or too much back?

    You end up frozen and do nothing when you're too future focused. Or you end up doing the wrong things. In the wrong order. 

    Plus the anxious disappointment! Always focusing on the gap between where you are and where you want to be? fiisss...ppsshhh.. there's that sound again!

    When you're too stuck in the past? You end up frozen as well! 

    Regret and disappointment blinds you to seeing the opportunities of today.

    Nothing wrong with thinking forward, or looking back.

    Without looking forward - you don't plan and take action with intention.

    Without looking back - you don't learn the lessons and end up going around in circles repeating mistakes.

    It's when you stay too long in either the future or past that causes problems. Your mind and body kinda needs to be together in the same time and place. Right?

    and your body is always in the present.

    (Unless you have the secret to time traveling! Please share if you do!)

    So this wallpaper is very much needed in my studio and office.

    It's not a new message. I know. Maybe even a bit cliche

    But this quote came at the right time for me. I hope for you too.

    What if we release yesterday. What if we leave tomorrow for...tomorrow.

    Let's begin the work we must do TODAY.

    MAY THIS WALLPAPER BRING YOU BACK TO YOURSELF TO BEGIN THE JOURNEY FORWARD

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    ENJOYED THIS ARTICLE?

    You may also enjoy what I shared for these wallpaper artwork:

    Beauty Begins The Moment You Decide To Be Yourself

    Not Perfect, Whole

    Mercy Triumphs Over Judgment

    Building A Door

    When You Want To Start Over 


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    Beauty is a big value in my life. 

    Along with the other usual values like family, integrity, respect, kindness etc...

    Beauty is actually pretty high up there on the priority list. 

    Having beautiful things to look at is one of the great joys of my life.

    Seeing ugly things, literally sometimes, hurts my eyes. 

    (of course, when I say 'beautiful' it's totally subjective)

    I mean, I'm kinda in the business of beauty.

    Aesthetics, obviously

    I do want to create artworks that 'look' beautiful.

    But I always want to refocus that to the deeper kind of beauty. 

    Seeing through the colours and 'prettiness' into the depths where a beauty that feels like it resonates from within.

    You know, the kind of beauty that feels like it was earnt. 

    Or divinely discovered.

    Experienced in that full-bodied kind of way

    Or discovered after pain or heartache. 

    The beauty in a sunrise not just for the aesthetics,
    but because you just had a life or death experience the night before. 

    Or the beauty of a crying baby in your arms, after years of praying to fall pregnant. 


    (these wallpapers are available in the Insider library exclusively for insider members - please sign up here to gain access. Join today as older editions are removed when new artwork is released every month)

    You know that kind of digging? 

    Digging into the depths to find that gem of beauty? 

    That's also the kind of hard,
    sometimes torturous work needed to clear the layers of baggage

    and pain

    and dirt

    and masks

    and all the junk before you find that little gem that is yours alone.

    The 'YOU' within. 

    What you find may not be what you expected. 

    Maybe not even what you hoped for.

    There may even be bits you find hard to look at.

    Yet all of it, not just the gem, but the whole process, journey and discovery?

    There is a kind of beauty in that too.

    The sad thing is, some people don't bother digging at all.

    Others stop when the work gets painful.

    Some just find it takes too long and they just settle. After all, it's all good right?

    Even sadder still is, when they do find something that is really their true selves - especially when they were forced to go on that journey, they decide to pretend it isn't there.

    Showcasing that gem within is a choice.

    It's a practice too. 

    Meaning, sometimes it's easy to go back to old habits. 

    Do things the way you've always done them, even though you want to do them another way. 

    Thought patterns that you always fall back to when hard times hit, even though you know it does't serve you any longer.

    Life gets more beautiful when all of us can showcase more of the gems that we are.


    May this wallpaper spark the fire within to choose your beautiful self


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    You may also enjoy what I shared for these wallpaper artwork: 

    Not Perfect, Whole

    Building A Door

    When You Want To Start Over 

    Wearing Crowns 


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    It used to be all about MY birthday.

    (October is birthday month in my house.)

    Then I went and ruined it by having a baby in October so...it's all about Indigo's birthday right now. Actually we've been counting down since August. #MumLife

    Birthdays for me is always a time of looking back at the past year.  

    If you've been following me on Instagram - you may have heard.  

    Big things happened and now I'm in a season of rest. Not by choice. But it's something my body, soul and heart needs.

    It's something I hope to share with you in the future, but right now, I'm still very much IN the forest. (so apologies for the vague mysterious sharing, but for now I'm resting in my privacy)

    (these wallpapers are available in the Insider library exclusively for insider members - please sign up here to gain access. Join today as older editions are removed when new artwork is released every month)

    Incidentally, as much as I'm retreating within to be alone and to heal - I've been surprised to rediscover that I'm surrounded by loving friends and family. I'm well supported and I thank you for all the love!

    So this season of rest, as I'm taking gentle steps with myself. I'm reminded again and again that it's the small things that make up the great big things. 

    I'm still creating - I have a couple projects that I want to finish before 2016 ends. Drawings to finish, paintings are calling from the canvas and a drawing workshop to create. (I'll email you details to learn more soon!)

    I'm still in my studio and my schedule is still the same.

    The difference?

    I'm consciously being gentle, in flow and taking my sweet time.

    When I'm feeling the urge to hustle and work work work (cos... hello! This mama ain't got time to waste!) -- this quote reminds me to slow down.

    It reminds me that there IS power in the small things to add up to the big things. Big moments that I'm dreaming of are created one baby step at a time.

    (You can see that my new paintings have a lot of intricate details and linework that relates to this -- step by step, small marks add up to create a huge impact and visual texture)

    May this wallpaper encourage you to take the steps you need to take to create your Great thing. Big or small.


    Enjoy this article?

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    ENJOYED THIS ARTICLE?

    You may also enjoy what I shared for these wallpaper artwork: 

    Not Perfect, Whole

    Building A Door

    When You Want To Start Over 

    Wearing Crowns 

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    Hi, I'm Brenda Mangalore.
    I create art that's about connection to ourselves, and to each other.

    Art is like faith and love, chaos and structure. There is beauty in the mess!

    And if we let it, it can be an anchor of self-expression in our spaces and in our lives.





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