Previous month:
February 2017

Positively Present Picks: March 24, 2017

 
Bloom


Quote-of-the-week

“You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right.”

Rosa Parks

 

Links-I-Love

Creative Market Shop : just opened this shop for design resources! check it out! 

She Reaches Podcast : I love this podcast + was so honored to be interviewed

Is Ignorance the Problem? : a very quick, interesting read from Seth Godin

How to Live More Wisely Around Our Phones : if you have nomophobia, read this

Hi Hi Hi Hi Hi : this little tweet is silly, but it made me smile big time

This Good World : a site to help you find socially responsible businesses

Behind the Adult Coloring Trend : tapping into your inner kid is good for you

Feeling Stressed? : here are 105 ways to keep calm and carry on

4 Step Guide to Letting Go of the Past : it's tough, but these are great tips

Little Piggy : here's another tweet that's also silly, but really made my day :) 

Can a World Filled with Unhappiness Change Its Course? : so thought-provoking

Uplifting News : need some positive news? check out this round-up

You Can Make Excuses or You Can Make Progress : which do you wanna make?

15 Free Desktop Wallpapers for Dog Lovers : I want to download them all :)

 

Listening

Listen to this playlist on YouTube.
Finally on Spotify! Follow me!


"Dive In" — KYKO
"Bridge and Wall" — Elohim
"Next Escape" — Viceroy
"Galway Girl" — Ed Sheeran
"Weekends" — Amy Shark
"Bad Things"— Milky Chance
"When It Comes to Us" — Frances
"Want" — Adam Counts
"Feel It Still" — Portugal. The Man
"Seeing Stars" — Borns

 

Reading

Check out my reading list on GoodReads.
 

Solitude: In Pursuit of a Singular Life
in a Crowded World
Michael Harris

Neon Soul : Poetry and Prose
Alexandra Elle
 

I write books too! Check it out...

The Positively Present Guide to Life

Effortless Inspiration Series:
Gratitude, Living in the Moment, 
Compassion, and Forgiveness

Stay Positive: Daily Reminders
from Positively Present

    

PPGTL-Footer Love-Self-Footer Find-Self-Footer Stickers-Footer


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some links may be affiliate links. If you click on them and purchase something, I receive a commission. There is no additional cost to you if you use these links, and I will never share links for products I haven't or wouldn't purchase myself. For more information on affiliate links, please visit the Terms of Use page. 


Sky or Screen? : The Power of Perspective

 

Sky or Screen
 

 

You're probably well aware that your perspective -- or point of view -- matters a great deal. Whether you're positive or negative, happy or sad, focused on the details or eyeing the big picture, looking up or looking down -- everything around you is impacting what you see and think and do. But, as aware of this as you might be, most of us forget about this. We're in whatever place or attitude or frame of mind that we're in and we forget that, oftentimes, our perspective is something that we've chosen. 

 

This concept was brought sharply into focus (quite literally!) the other day while I was looking out the window at some pretty, fluffy clouds. One second I was looking at the sky and, a second later, my eyes shifted their focus and I was looking at the little black grid of the window's screen, with the sky blurry in the background. (See my attempt at a recreating this moment in the image above.)

 

If you can, go to a window with a screen right now and try it. Focus on the screen, and the sky'll go blurry. Focus on the sky, and the blurred screen can almost be ignored. 

 

You do this with your eyes all the time, giving attention to something close or far away and blurring the opposite perspective. And guess what? You do this with your mind, too. All the time. And, just like the screen / sky example, you probably don't think about it much. If something's on your screen (say, a butterfly landed there), it'll grab your attention. If the sky's a startling blue or a worrisome gray, your eyes'll be drawn to that. You look at what's most noteworthy to you at the moment and ignore the rest. 

 

This isn't necessarily a bad thing. In fact, if you were to see everything all at once, your brain would be overstimulated, and you'd probably go a bit crazy. But, when it comes to more abstract things -- say, a positive mindset vs. negative mindset -- it's important to be aware of not only what you're looking at, but also what you're not looking at. And, even more importantly, to think about whether you're looking at is the right thing or if it's actually helpful. 

 

For example, if you're trying to figure out what the weather's like, looking at the screen isn't particularly useful. Likewise, if you want to know if the screen could use a good cleaning, looking at the sky won't give you the info you need. This week, I want to think about what the sky / screen is in your life right now. 

  • What are you focusing intently on? What is your current screen? Your sky?

  • Is what you're focusing on the right thing to look at right now?
    (Key words: right now. This doesn't have to be forever.)

  • What would you see if you shifted your focus? Would this view be more or less useful?

 

There're no right or wrong answers to these questions. They're just a few prompts to inspire you to pay attention to what you're looking at in order to contemplate whether what you're paying attention to is actually what you should be paying attention to. Your perspective is often up to you, and you often (almost always!) have the power to shift it if you want to. But you can only shift it if you're aware of it. Awareness is the first step, so, this week, pay attention. Look out your window. Notice your screen. Notice your sky.  

 

PPGTL-Footer Love-Self-Footer Find-Self-Footer Stickers-Footer


 

 


Positively Present Picks: March 17, 2017

 
Make Your Own Luck



Quote-of-the-week

"St. Patrick's Day is an enchanted time: a day to begin
transforming winter's dreams into summer's magic."

Adrienne Cook

 

Links-I-Love

Make Your Own Luck : check out this video to see how I drew the image above

Best Day Ever App : a great little app for tracking your daily moods

Shop Shiny Things! : did you see all of the cool things I've listed? treat yo' self! :)

Friday Night Vibes : this dog (and its snack situation) made me laugh

The Desire Map : have you read it? I keep coming back to it again + again

Saturn's Moon : these new pics of this are so cool. I love space! 

How to Stop Checking Your Phone : excellent, much-needed tips here

Why We Suffer When We Judge Others' Choices : judging = bad news

Mystical Girl, Material World : really want to pick up a copy of this book!

The Most Dangerous Energy of Joy : wonderful, wise words from Hesse

Always Giving to Others? : here's how to beat the generosity burnout

Peace Is Power : it really is + I need this candle in my life to help me chill

 

Listening

Listen to this playlist on YouTube.
Finally on Spotify! Follow me!


"Liability" — Lorde
"Say You Will" — Shy Girls
"Wasted My Love" — Axel Mansoor
"Castle on the Hill" (Live) — Ed Sheeran
"Feels" — Kiiara
"Tessalate"— Alt-J
"Feel Good" — Gryffin + Illenium
"History" — Olivia Holt
"Oceans Away" — A R I Z O N A
"Third of May" — Fleet Foxes

 

Reading

Check out my reading list on GoodReads.


Present Over Perfect:
Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler,
More Soulful Way of Living
Shauna Niequist

Handwriting Analysis
Andrea McNichol 
 

I write books too! Check it out...

The Positively Present Guide to Life

Effortless Inspiration Series:
Gratitude, Living in the Moment, 
Compassion, and Forgiveness

Stay Positive: Daily Reminders
from Positively Present

    

PPGTL-Footer Love-Self-Footer Find-Self-Footer Stickers-Footer


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some links may be affiliate links. If you click on them and purchase something, I receive a commission. There is no additional cost to you if you use these links, and I will never share links for products I haven't or wouldn't purchase myself. For more information on affiliate links, please visit the Terms of Use page. 


Springtime Simplifying, Sorting, + Selling!

 

Spark Joy

 

Last week at a baby shower I saw some women I hadn't seen in nearly a decade. While talking about organizing the baby's new clothes, someone brought up my organization skills. One girl exclaimed, "I only went to your house once, but I still think about your closet all the time! All your clothes arranged by color!" and another chimed in, "Oh my god! Yes! I remember you opening your make-up drawer and seeing all of your eyeshadows organized in perfect rows!" I beamed with pride, picturing my still-organized closet, my current make-up drawer with shadows still in a row.

I've been an organized person for as long as I can remember. As a young girl, I was always sorting and re-organizing and decluttering in my room (perhaps as a result of the excessive amount of stuff I continuously accumulated!), and to this day I'm still one of the most organized people I know. Everything has a proper place, and everything is put in that place.

But, despite everything having a proper place, I still don't feel quite right about my possessions. While recently revisiting Marie Kondō's book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, it occurred to me why this is. I might have a proper place for everything, but everything's proper place isn't necessarily with me. So many of the things I own have served me well, and so I keep them. I'm starting to realize, though, that organized possessions are not the same as purposeful possessions. As Kondō's wrote: 

“When you come across something that you cannot part with, think carefully about its true purpose in your life. You’ll be surprised at how many of the things you possess have already fulfilled their role. By acknowledging their contribution and letting them go with gratitude, you will be able to truly put the things you own, and your life, in order. In the end, all that will remain are the things that you really treasure. To truly cherish the things that are important to you, you must first discard those that have outlived their purpose.”

It's that, right there, that I'm finally realizing. There are a great many things in my organized little apartment that no longer serve a purpose for me. And, silly as this sounds, I have a sense of guilt that comes from hanging on to them, and it leaves me feeling uneasy and unsettled. Unlike most people, who feel guilty about giving things of value away, I'm the opposite: I feel guilty for hanging onto things (especially beautiful, valuable things) that I no longer use.  

Because some of my things have brought me such joy or beauty in the past, I keep them. But, aside from a few extra special things, I know I would feel better if I set these things free, giving someone else to enjoy and experience them. I've thought about this many times, but followed those thoughts with excuses ("ugh, it'll take so much time to sort through!" or "I don't even know how I would sell these things!"). This time, I'm listening to what my heart is telling me -- let these things go -- and taking action. 

This is definitely a work in progress, but here's what I've done over the past week or so to simplify, sort, and sell! 

 


FIRST: SIMPLIFY

 

Tiffany Heart Links
Heartfelt Tiffany Heart Links

First, I decided I needed to simplify this process. If I were to just look at my whole apartment and try to sort and sell it all, I would be so overwhelmed that I would give up. I decided to try a bit of an odd approach: I sat down on the couch and thought, "Where should I begin?" The first thought that came to my mind was the one I would tackle. It happened to be jewelry. I have a lot of beautiful, meaningful jewelry. But here's the thing: I rarely wear jewelry. I'm not quite sure why, but that's the way it is. So it makes sense to start there, to simplify the overwhelming task of reflecting and sorting all of my possessions by homing in on the one thing that has a lot of value, just not to me.

No one who doesn't wear jewelry should have a drawer full of it. Just thinking about the pieces I have loved, the meaningful moments behind them, and imagining someone else getting a similar kind of joy makes it easy to let these beauties go. In this first stage, the simplifying part, I spent a lot of time thinking about Kondō's well-known question, "Does it spark joy?" but also adding, "Will this spark joy in someone else?" 

Simplifying your life isn't just about getting rid of the things that no longer have a purpose for you; it's also about considering how these things might be useful to someone else. 

 

SECOND: SORT

 

Juicy Charm Bracelet
Fun Juicy Couture Charm Bracelet

After choosing the area on which to focus first -- jewelry -- I moved onto the sorting part. I pulled it all out, Kondō-style, and went through, piece by piece. When it comes to jewelry, I could probably let it all go and be just fine, but I decided to hang on to a few pieces that were especially meaningful to me, or that I do, on rare occasions, actually wear. Those went into the KEEP pile. The next pile -- DONATE -- I filled with pieces that were either too well-loved to sell or that had little to no value (I'm looking at you, Forever 21 necklaces!). And, finally, the most beloved and beautiful pieces that were no longer serving a purpose with me went into the SELL pile. Everything in this pile was something I'd still love and wear, if I were the kind of person that wore jewelry. Everything in this pile was something I could look at and answer "yes!" to the question, "Would this spark joy in someone else's life?" 

(I'm not going to lie: this sorting business wasn't easy, particularly when determining what to KEEP and what to SELL. All of the pieces I decided to sell are valuable, not only in a monetary sense, but also in an emotional sense. But I determined that, if something had once brought me such joy, it would be a wonderful thing to put that joy back out into the world and allow someone else to experience it, rather than trapping it in a drawer for years. With that thought it mind, it made me actually feel good to list these items for sale.)

 

THIRD: SELL

 

Tiffany Happy
Happy Little Tiffany Charm

In her book, Kondō writes: “Keep only those things that speak to your heart. Then take the plunge and discard all the rest." After going through all of my jewelry and the sorting process, I was left not only with a few meaningful items that spoke to my heart (however cheesy that sounds...), but also a whole bunch of pieces I really believe will speak to someone else's heart. I don't believe that items can actually take on emotions -- joy, pain, etc. -- but I do feel like there's something interesting about purchasing an item that you know brought someone else joy. 

To me, it's the added bonus that comes with buying a used thing. It was discarded by someone else because it had fulfilled its purpose with that person, but it arrived where you are so it could be purposeful for you. You get the tangible thing, of course, but also the knowledge that someone else loved this thing, too. It's a bit out there, maybe, but I think there's something to it. It's why we love antiques, why we consider something a relative owned to be of more value than it really is, etc. There's a meaning, a history, behind a used item that you just don't get with something brand new from a store. 

So, last week, I photographed, researched, and posted the joy-sparking jewelry on my Etsy shop. Every time I sell a piece, I feel a bit of excitement for the person who is about to receive it. Packing it up and shipping it off to a new home is an oddly comforting act, a kind of gift-giving feeling. It feels good for me, and I'm hoping it feels just as good for those opening their new-to-them items. If you want to see what's still for sale, check it out here

 

This whole process has been an eye-opening and revitalizing experience. Many of these items I thought I would never part with, but knowing that they are going to a new home, to a place where they will hopefully be loved and worn, rather than sitting idly in a drawer, sparks a joy in me that is much different (and better!) from the joy I get from the items I possess. If you're thinking of doing some spring cleaning or organizing, I highly recommend it! 

 

PS - I'm also still running a MAJOR sale in my Etsy shop to make way for some new things. Pins, stickers, and e-books are up to 50% off! Check it out here

 

 

 

PPGTL-Footer Love-Self-Footer Find-Self-Footer Stickers-Footer


 

 


Positively Present Picks : March 10, 2017

 
Find What Feels Good


Quote-of-the-week

"He who has a why to live can bear almost any how."

Friedrich Nietzsche

 

Links-I-Love

iPad Lettering! : put up a few videos showing how I use my iPad
(one is real time, with commentary; the others are just watch-me-draw)

The Difference Between Empathy + Sympathy : wise words from Brene Brown

7 Positivity Blogs to Follow in 2017 : so honored to be in this round-up :)

Against Productivity : an amazing article for Daily Zen that'll make you think

Ditch the Labels : once you do, you'll find out who you really are

The Art of Being Yourself : wow. this video was super inspiring! watch! 

5 Ways to Conquer Stress When It Feels Overwhelming : love #4

Why I'm Always in a Hurry (and What I'm Doing about It) : good advice

Having Doubts Doesn't Mean a Relationship Is Doomed : it's totally normal

25 Self-Love Quotes : check these out when you need a self-love boost

The Power of Gratitude + Perspective : it could always be way worse

Can't Seem to Get Started? : here's why + what you can do about it

7 Ways to Live Within Your Means : less stuff = less stress

Why Your Dog's Personality Is a Lot Like Yours : fascinating + true! 

 

Listening

Listen to this playlist on YouTube.
Finally on Spotify! Follow me!


"Green Light" — Lorde
"Die Young" — Sylvan Esso
"Alaska (Live)" — Maggie Rogers
"Save Myself" — Ed Sheeran
"Heavy" — Linkin Park
"Modern Flame"— Emmit Fenn
"Issues" — Julia Michaels
"Total Entertainment Forever" — Father John Misty
"The High Road" — Perish
"Dive In" — KYKO

 

Reading

Check out my reading list on GoodReads.
 

All the Lives I Want: Essays about My
Bests Who Happen to Be Famous Strangers
Alana Massey

Right Riches for You
Dr. Dain Heer
 

I write books too! Check it out...

The Positively Present Guide to Life

Effortless Inspiration Series:
Gratitude, Living in the Moment, 
Compassion, and Forgiveness

Stay Positive: Daily Reminders
from Positively Present

    

PPGTL-Footer Love-Self-Footer Find-Self-Footer Stickers-Footer


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some links may be affiliate links. If you click on them and purchase something, I receive a commission. There is no additional cost to you if you use these links, and I will never share links for products I haven't or wouldn't purchase myself. For more information on affiliate links, please visit the Terms of Use page.