En Route To Chicago

Monday, March 27, 2017

*This post is a lil' different and a lil' spontaneous for this Type A, posts-planned-two-weeks-out gal. But, switching it up is good and keeps us honest and free. This was written as I was on a train en route to Chicago for a little weekend fun with some friends - enjoy these quiet rambles.*

Image via Claire Nichols
The sun resting on my face through the window of the train feels glamorous.

I do not know if "glamour" is the right word, for it seems a bit overdone or doubtful; yet, as I close my eyes and let the burning yellow and red flutter through my eyelids, it feels warm and beautiful and special. (These colors we see as we close our eyes are called "phosphenes" according to ScienceLine. Curiosity got to me.)  

The soft mutter of the train as we pass through fields & urban homes alike fades dimly into the background. Its voice has become the soundtrack of this trip for me, thus far. (Not for poetic reasons, truly out of plain forgetfulness. My headphones are sitting on my nightstand at home. Rookie move, I know.) Friends are sleeping and strangers are doing their thing. Being a bit nosey seems a little more acceptable on public transportation. It's then transformed to "curiosity" and I'm into it. 

Image via Claire Nichols
 There is something about being on a train - or in a car, plane, bus - that makes me nostalgic but nonetheless still. That tension between "what was" & "what is" (and of course, the inevitable "what will be") rests softly together in this moment. Snuggled between other conflicting emotions - ones of joy & sorrow and ease & pain. I am making room for all these friends these days. Learning that they are, in fact, friends and should be kept close to recognize how human I am. ("So Very Human" I have said to myself lately. In those I-shouldn't-of-said-that, feel-that, do-that moments, I am & we are So. Very. Human. I think that should be a title of a book, someday.) However, "it's okay" & "be still" whisper their sweet voices around me, and I am choosing to listen. 

My eyes come to a close for an extended second once more, this time, surrounded by trees and a small stream... reminding me that all this, too, shall pass. These moments, as beautiful as they can be, are so very temporary. So I am choosing to feel it all yet grasp lightly, for better days lie ahead.  

Why You Should Still Create in a World Where Everyone is a Creator

Monday, March 13, 2017

Image by Karissa Nickish
As you scroll through Instagram, take an art class, or simply look to the person next to you, it seems that more and more people are creating something and putting it out into the world. Seeing this can make us feel a few things - some days it may be along the lines of yes, inspiration! and way to go, sister friend! While other days lean more towards really, another one? or even a what about me? thought. The latter of the attitudes leaves us feeling discouraged, compared, and ultimately believing we are unworthy of creating something, too. 

First things first - let's not feel shame or guilt for feeling these thoughts. They are natural and real. I have 'em, you have 'em, and most people who care deeply about their art do, too. Yet, also, these emotions are far from the truth and do not define who we are as a creator or person. 

So, here is the deal: despite these thoughts, we should still create. We were made to, it seems. Why? Check out a few reasons below.

01 | We Have Much to Learn from One Another.

Though our work may seem similar or the "someone has already done that before" thought streams our head, we, too, have a unique voice that should be shared. That is the beautiful thing about art - that not one person executes it the exact same way. Whether it be writing, painting, styling, photography, or any creative medium, we all bring something to the table. 

02 | Creativity does not Simply "Run Out".

Maya Angelou famously states that "You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” I think she is right - and we should remind ourselves of this truth often when we are tempted to tell ourselves that there is not enough space for another artist, blogger, photographer, etc. in the world. 

03 | At the End of the Day, Create for Yourself. 

It is fun to get positive feedback and an abundant of "likes" or "shares", yet to create well we cannot simply only depend on the outcome of our shared work. The original work itself - the process of getting that photograph just right or perfecting that last paragraph - brings great joy when restrained to just creating for creating's sake. 


In an article from Into More Productions, author Ryan Wekenman writes, "Some of us like to create with our hands. Others use words. Or cameras. Or instruments. Or insights. Or computers. Or conversations. We were all given the ability, desire, and responsibility to create. Which means it doesn’t matter how you choose to create, simply that you do. This is one of the key ingredients to living a story of more."

His words, for me, take the pressure off of making something "perfect" and instead simply push me to just create something. I hope and pray that we can use our natural ability of creating to cultivate living that "story of more". 

Why do you think we should all keep creating, despite our doubts or the fact that "everyone" is doing it?

A Playlist of Hope & Light with Sophie Roads

Sunday, March 5, 2017

We are back again with the monthly playlists, and this one being no exception to the beautifully curated ones Sophie Roads created for us last year. (For past playlists, click HEREHERE, and HERE.)

And, a note from the music-curator, herself:

"Hello, sweet listeners. February's playlist was one that I tried my best to fill with emotionally promising songs. My personal favorites include Sampha (Honestly, just check out that whole album. The man has a voice like butter), Whatever You Want by Vasser, and The Isle of Arran by Loyle Carner. Carner is another one I'd highly recommend delving into further. Easy listening and highly motivating. To those listening, I hope I succeeded in creating a soft-spoken playlist with undertones of hope and light. Happy listening, folks."

"To those listening, I hope I succeeded
 in creating a soft-spoken playlist 
with undertones of hope and light."

What are you listening to this month?

by mlekoshi