Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Writing Tip #3 - Embrace Unexpected Inspirations



Embrace Unexpected Inspirations

Inspiration often comes at the most inconvenient times when you least expect it. Sometimes it is a passing thought that gets you excited or seemingly random connections between things. I am often inspired by a road name as I travel or an aimless phrase spoken by a stranger.

These ideas can be passing thoughts, but they can also turn into the basis of poems, essays and books.

Have you ever had the best idea while in the shower or driving? I can’t always write them down right away. That’s okay! I find that the thoughts that may grow into more will stay with you. Embrace those moments of enlightenment. You do not have to hold them, but sit with them and see what they have to say.

This is a part of the creative life that can be overwhelming and hard to manage. However, if you embrace those little moments of inspiration, they can fuel your work forever. You have a wellspring of inspiration inside of you. Those little moments happen all the time, usually when you are doing something else, let them come and fill you up.


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Become a part of Balancing Tree Burrow, a creative community dedicated to emotional stability and connection, by supporting Balancing Tree Press on Patreon. Access bonus content, receive a weekly newsletter. You can also get extended emotional season guidebooks and a one on one brainstorming chat with Amanda. 

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Friday, June 26, 2020

Idealizing Others Means Doubt at Play

Did you know that idealizing other's work is a freeze state connected to doubt? When you doubt your own work, you are barred by an emotional barrier, not a creative one. 

The difference is subtle, but important to break through this barrier. 

Begin by remembering past victories. What is something you have accomplished or really enjoyed about your own work? 

Next, look at what you can learn instead of what you don't know. This growth mindset sets the stage for expansion and avoids limiting beliefs.

Looking at other's work for inspiration is part of the process for creation. However, don't put yourself down and doubt your own ability in the process. Keep your curiosity and explore how you can make the ideas your own and learn new skills.  

You must do the work and trust in your unique creative experience. A good friend of mine, graphic designer Danielle Atkisson, always says, "stay in your lane." She is so right. 

We cannot see the invisible struggles of others. We are too occupied balancing our own.

Don't wish your story to be different. Honor who you are right now. 

Embrace your story!

Life is complex and we are all on a journey full of tribulation and victories. Do not limit yourself, instead be boundless and infinite in your exploration.

Take a deep breath and ask yourself - what is grabbing my attention right now? Focus on that. Process it. Take one step forward. 

Now you can look forward toward where you want to go next. You can make a change. Let your message come from within, not from trying to mimic someone "more successful." 

Release doubt and move forward in curious exploration to ignite your creativity.

Believe in yourself!


Peace and Love, 


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Become a part of Balancing Tree Burrow, a creative community dedicated to emotional stability and connection, by supporting Balancing Tree Press on Patreon. Access bonus content, receive a weekly newsletter. You can also get extended emotional season guidebooks and a one on one brainstorming chat with Amanda. 

Connect with me: Instagram - Facebook - YouTube


Thursday, June 25, 2020

To Feel Like Me {A Poem}



I do it
to get away from the noise

I do it
to find peace

I do it
to still my mind

I do it
because it lights me up inside

I do it
to be free

I do it
to feel like me


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Become a part of Balancing Tree Burrow, a creative community dedicated to emotional stability and connection, by supporting Balancing Tree Press on Patreon. Access bonus content, receive a weekly newsletter. You can also get extended emotional season guidebooks and a one on one brainstorming chat with Amanda. 

Connect with me: Instagram - Facebook - YouTube

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Cast Out Perfectionism!

I originally thought my creative blocks were coming from a lack of project management. I spent months trying to find the "perfect" way to plan my project so I could know what needed to happen next without such a long build up each time I sat down to work. 

Turns out, this was not the root cause.

I became better at planning my work, but I would reach a certain point and decide I needed a new method because "I wasn't getting anywhere." 

I wasn't getting anywhere because I had a fear of putting myself out there, not because I wasn't organized.

The project planning became a distraction for my resistance. 

My trouble was not my method, it was perfectionism. 

I would decide that this method wasn't good enough and begin over with a new draft. Funny thing, that new draft looked a lot like the old draft. The planning was working just fine, what I needed was to unblock my emotional barrier.

Life is not perfect. There is so much cultivated messaging in the world that I am beginning to realize I don't want to be perfect. 

My bar of perfectionism is keeping me from sharing my message. I am ready to break through this barrier and let you see the perfectly imperfect me. I am chaotic within my structure, I like to go where the wind takes me and I like to create. 

Once I can remove this emotional block of resistance, I can make true steps toward my goal of connecting. 

I'm ready to stop overthinking the process and look in the direction I want to go. 

My vision is to connect, share my journey and support you in your creative projects. 

I am moving forward with this dream in the form of a membership model called Patreon. This is a well established site that allows me to share benefits with you as you support my work. 

I am currently working on building a community, Balancing Tree Burrow, for creators to have a safe place to share creative blocks, be encouraged by other artists and celebrate victories. 

Access to this community and a weekly newsletter full of stories, journal questions, guided meditations, emotional tools, and more, is available for any support amount starting at only $3. That's less than a cup of coffee!

Though it is not perfect, I am well on my way. 

Are you ready to break through your creative blocks?

Community is the best way to ignite your creativity and cultivate your confidence. Join Balancing Tree Burrow today!




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Become a part of Balancing Tree Burrow, a creative community dedicated to emotional stability and connection, by supporting Balancing Tree Press on Patreon. Access bonus content, receive a weekly newsletter. You can also get extended emotional season guidebooks and a one on one brainstorming chat with Amanda. 

Connect with me: Instagram - Facebook - YouTube


Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Writing Tip #2 - Just Start Writing



Just start writing 

One of the hardest aspects of writing is getting started. This can come from several sources. Not being clear of your message, not knowing how to start, and feeling like it’s not going to be good enough have all been thoughts I’ve had before that make it really hard to put pen to page.

First off, the first draft is not going to be perfect. Even this writing tip took three drafts before I was happy with it. You must put words on the page before you can make them better, so just start writing.

Oftentimes when I have a broad idea, I start with a list of what I want to say. Once I have the idea laid out, I can decide where to start. If you don’t know how you want to open your draft, start in the middle. You can always go back and add an introduction later.


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Become a part of Balancing Tree Burrow, a creative community dedicated to emotional stability and connection, by supporting Balancing Tree Press on Patreon. Access bonus content, receive a weekly newsletter. You can also get extended emotional season guidebooks and a one on one brainstorming chat with Amanda. 

Connect with me: Instagram - Facebook - YouTube

Monday, June 22, 2020

What Fuels Your Fire?

Summer brings a lot of fire [active, expansive] energy. The days are hot and there is a subtle urge to go and do in the atmosphere. This is powerful creating energy. Summer energy can feel chaotic without a direction. When you focus this intense energy into a project, you will see astonishing results.

Take time to direct this expansive energy:
What do you want to accomplish this season?
What sparks your interest right now?
What is one goal you can focus on?
What is the first step to move you forward?

Focus on what you can do right now to avoid the overwhelming "too many options" energy. Focus on one goal and the first step. You can change your mind at anytime. The objective is to get started and let the active summer energy fuel you.


Peace and Love, 


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Become a part of Balancing Tree Burrow, a creative community dedicated to emotional stability and connection, by supporting Balancing Tree Press on Patreon. Access bonus content, receive a weekly newsletter. You can also get extended emotional season guidebooks and a one on one brainstorming chat with Amanda. 

Connect with me: Instagram - Facebook - YouTube



Saturday, June 20, 2020

Summer Solstice 2020


Hello Summer! Saturday marks the Summer Solstice. The sun sits in its peak position creating the longest day of the year. 

I love sitting by a campfire on a summer night. I learned how to tend a fire as a kid in Girl Scouts. It needs fuel, air and a spark. I remember learning how to stack the wood so the air can flow through and how to ignite the flame.

Each of us has a fire within us. This inner fire is fierce and powerful. Just as you learn to tend a campfire, you can also learn how to maintain your inner fire.

Structure your mind so creativity can flow through it. I do this with regular meditation. I acknowledge what comes up in the moments when my mind is quiet. What is blocking my way? I sit with that feeling and decide whether I need to act on it or plan for it. Then I let it go.

When your inner fire burns freely, your creativity will Ignite. During the expansive energy of summer, let the flame roar to life. 

The Summer Solstice is the season of fire. The fire element casts extroverted energy - the urge to go and do. This is prime creative energy! Let the expansive drive of nature fuel you.



The Summer Solstice brings lots of expansive energy. Journaling is my way to collect that fuel and set my course for the season.

The following journal questions will guide you to take a few moments to look back over the last few months, take stock of the present moment and look forward to the next few months to direct the energy to serve you. Acknowledge any emotional blocks in your path so you can process them to make space for creativity. 

Get comfortable when you have a few moments to yourself and begin with a deep breath. As you go through these journal questions don't think to much, let whatever comes to mind be the answer. There is no right or wrong in this process, it is meant as a guide to move through your emotions, let your mind release any built up tension, and set a course to direct you.

Summer Solstice Journal Questions:

1. Looking back over the last three months, what are some peak experiences? What did you celebrate? What did you overcome? 

2. Acknowledge what is going on in your life right now. What have you been too busy or preoccupied to appreciate? How can you make room for play in your day?

3. Looking forward, what do you want to manifest in the next three months? What one goal is most important to you?

4. What inner and outer obstacles might stand in the way of your goal? What resources can you activate to embrace and push through the barrier?

Afterwards, take time to reflect on what came up. Set your intentions for the season and place them somewhere you will look at them periodically. Let the summer energy charge you to make the most of this active season.

Remember to set time aside during this active energy season to rest and recharge.


Peace and Love,



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Become a part of Balancing Tree Burrow, a creative community dedicated to emotional stability and connection, by supporting Balancing Tree Press on Patreon. Access bonus content, receive a weekly newsletter. You can also get extended emotional season guidebooks and a one on one brainstorming chat with Amanda. 

Connect with me: Instagram - Facebook - YouTube

Friday, June 19, 2020

Balancing Tree Burrow - The Newsletter Origin


When we were still staying in Seattle, we would go on evening walks along a bike path that followed the Green River. On our journey we saw so many bunnies. They lived in a huge row of briar patches along the side of the river. Almost every night there were bunnies along the path just before the sun went down. At first they were mesmerizing. They remained so, but as we became more familiar with them (and I like to think them with us), we began to give them stories.

It seemed like we saw the same bunnies night after night, so we started giving them names and personalities. Thumper lives at End Row, always tucked just inside the bushes. Merida, the brave scout who escorts us, lives on Sawdust Hill. As we walked further, we would give each section of the road a different community. Past Sawdust Hill came Over the Road, then the Distant Lands. 

Eventually we walked far enough that we past into Duck territory. They were must less interested in being featured in our stories because they had no consistency. However, we imagined the boundaries between the bunnies and duck was a firm, yet invisible line.

Creating these stories was fun as we walked and felt natural. I wondered if this was how Peter Rabbit or Winnie the Pooh began. In many ways, these tales were like bedtime stories. Past authors had written them down and developed entire worlds out of nature and their imagination. 

It has been almost two months since we left the briar patches beside the Green River, but I still think of those tales with fondness. Maybe one day I will write their tales and create a new bunny tales. 

Perhaps it was a simple thought exercise to entertain us on our walks. These bunnies were the inspiration for my Newsletter Community, Balancing Tree Burrow. A burrow is a dwelling, but also a place of refuge. It is exactly what I want in a creative community - writers, artists and entrepreneurs sharing their work and struggles so that we can encourage, challenge and inspire each other. It is within a community that we can really begin to find our way. 

Though I will not be writing Briar Bunny stories anytime soon, I want to share the revelation because it empathizes that ideas can come from anywhere. Nothing is wasted. I may come around to this concept again or I may simply be thankful that it inspired my own creative community. 

My newsletter is published every Friday. If you want to join the Balancing Tree Burrow and get writing tips, strategies to manage emotional health, journal questions and more sign up HERE. I am excited to see where this will take me, but for now I am building slow and would love for you to join me on the journey of self-discovery. 

How far can you go? You will only know if you begin.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Chasing The Deep Breath {A Poem}





Into the Mountains --

            Seeking the Rhythm of Nature

Fresh air, Curious wildlife,

            Oasis from the noise

An elusive wonder

            -- Silence --

Release pressure and expectation,

            Tension melts away

Peace fills me,

            Calm consumes my soul

A Deep Breath --

            I am whole in the stillness

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Mid-June Energy 2020 - Plug in Consciously

After doing my Mid-June meditation, I want to share what came up. This is a personal practice, and no I don't share everything. However, there are often aspects of my meditation that are general feelings about what is going on in the world or a concept that could help you in your life. 

When I tapped into this mid-June energy, I heard one word loud and clear...

Unplug!

I thought about how I am trying to share my thoughts and plug into the collective consciousness more and was surprised. 

Sitting with the word "unplug" some more, I realized that it it wasn't suggesting to be completely unplugged. I've already had that experience this year when I went without reliable Internet for almost two months. (Here's my response to that ordeal: "Are We Addicted to the Internet?")

Author and social media consultant, Katie Brockhurst, compares social media news feeds to the town square. This is where you go to soak up the energy of the community, to get news and share your own voice.

I love this concept because it is easier for me to distinguish the action of going to the town square as apposed to me sitting at home in my own space getting overloaded with energy and information. I have to make a choice to go and prepare myself for the influx of ideas and energy. 

As an empath, I have to be very conscious with my energy so I don't get overwhelmed. This reminder to unplug is the solution to overcome this wave of emotion from the Internet. And let's be honest, it's a pretty big wave right now.

It's important to be connected, to know what is going on in the world around you and to share your voice. However, it is also important to live your own life, to have moments of stillness and rejuvenation, and moments shared only with the ones closest to you. 

These meditations are the renewal I need to keep myself running smoothly. Opportunity to journal and consider my own mind are the exact self-care I need to keep working without getting in my own way. 

Unplug! Take time for yourself. Be entirely in the moment in front of you. Breathe. Challenge yourself. Take care of yourself. Rest. Meditate.

Then plug back in - consciously. 

This allows you to be fully in that collective space and act mindfully instead of being distracted or mindlessly scrolling. We are stronger together, let's share empathy and lift each other up. 

Then unplug and rest again. 

It's a cycle that never ends, but you are in the driver's seat. Navigate social media in a sustainable way to keep emotional stability. 




Sending you peace and love,



____________________

Thank you for this space to share my energy. 

You can do you own mid-June Meditation - Journal Questions

Read Katie Brockhurst's new book, 
Social Media For A New Age: A Digital Self-Care Guide: Book 2: The next phase: 2020 and beyond



Writing Tip #1 - More To Writing



There's a lot more to writing than putting words to a page

Writing is more than the mechanics of putting words on a page. When I am walking, cooking or staring out a window, I can also be writing. Ideas flow through my brain constantly, but I can only write them if they are clear enough to see.

My novels can take a lot of processing time before I am able to move the story forward. When I do write a scene, it can surprise me with some emotional triggers. Then it takes time to understand the emotion and feel confident again. All the while, I let the ideas continue to process in the background of my mind.

It is important to understand that the rest in between the words and projects is as important as the words and projects themselves.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Mid-June Journal Questions {2020}



Mid-Month Meditation
Monday, June 15, 2020

At the beginning and middle of each month, I check in with what is going on in my life and how I can move forward with what I want to accomplish.

I sit down when I can have a moment to myself and begin with a deep breath. Then I go through these journal questions. Don't think to hard, let whatever comes to mind be the answer. There is no right or wrong in this process, it is meant as a guide to move through your emotions and let your mind release any built up tension.

Mid-June Journal Questions:
1. What is coming up?
2. What is newly beginning?
3. What are you moving forward one?
4. What can you do to continue moving forward?

Afterwards, take time to reflect on what came up. Confirm or realign your direction and set intentions.


 

Sending you peace and love!


Nature Connection {June 15, 2020}

I believe there is great power in connecting with nature. I am able to find stillness in the noise by aligning myself with the seasons and making a concentrated effort to walk among Mother Nature's majesty. 

We are currently in Port Angeles, WA at the feet of the Olympic Mountains. It has been raining a lot this week, but anytime the sun comes out I take a chance to walk outside. Sometimes I don't even wait for the sun and stand in awe at the clouds gathering over the mountain range. 

"I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees." ~Henry David Thoreau














Sunday, June 14, 2020

Weekly Meditation {6/14/20}



The stillness of the campfire helps me slow down and process. 

I want to collaborate more and share my voice. This brings up a fear that I'm not good enough. My anxiety begins to increase. But then I realize... If I don't connect and reach out, I will continue to sit on my ideas. I'm ready with a growth mindset to learn through experience.

Having a process helps quiet my anxiety. First, I get clear on what I want to do. I lay out all my ideas on the table. I sort through them and move them forward or let them go. I pick one to work on at a time. I don't want to keep looking back about what I missed, instead keep my eyes on what I am trying to do. 

The more things I finish, the more I grow my confidence and do even more. On the other side, I have to spend the same amount of energy being still so I can sort through all that's going on and decide how I feel about it so I can make a choice and act on it.

That is what I'm doing today. I'm going through notes from the week and meditating on what's happening next week. I can now prepare my mind and decide how next week will feel. Sometimes it's routine and sometimes it get exciting with activity.

I do this by first writing victories from last week. Something I accomplished or a good feeling / event. Then I write down any out-of-routine activities or emotions that come up. Then I write down 3 priorities - what I want to focus on and what I can realistically accomplish in a week. I finish with creating a theme or mantra to look back on throughout the week.


Here's an example of the weekly meditation I do to help me prep for the week ahead and process through any anxiety. I work well with a plan. I can be flexible within it and still get everything done.


I start my practice with a look at the past week. Did it go well? How do I feel at the end of it. What was something that went right? What was something I overcame or shifted to be positive?


Next, I focus on what is happening next. Things out of ordinary routine (and sometimes the routine itself). This gives me a schedule to work with. Then I add time for projects and meditations.


Next, I make priorities of what I want those projects and meditations to look like. Figure out what I can do in a week, also accounting for time to rest and explore, and make a big list.




Then I create a theme, a mantra to look back on for inspiration and to stay focused.


Going through this process every week helps me make myself a priority and know what to do in the moment to create productive momentum. This is how I'm getting my projects done and keeping emotional stability in the process.

What's coming up for you this week? What are you prioritizing for next week?

Sending you peace and love!

How I Manage My Emotional Health



To manage my anxiety, I have a regular meditation and journaling practice. I call these routines "Soul Work" because they help me get to the source of my emotional energy.

I am able to handle emotional triggers smoother because I connect my neurological pathways consistently to a place of calm. This allows me to find perspective quicker so I can see solutions instead of being overwhelmed by my circumstances.

This process takes time to develop and still sometimes break down. That is why I call it "work." It is an effort to connect and understand the emotional part of my human experience.

The product of my Soul Work is the ability to cope with my anxiety, depression and emotional triggers, while still maintaining my ability to function in both a routine daily capacity and toward higher goals in my creative endeavors.

I will begin to share my meditation practice in this space by highlighting upcoming meditations for the next week. These are guides meant to inspire your own method to gain clarity. Be empowered to change them to fit you personal

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Act mindfully - Balance between Inaction and Rash Action




I struggle with indecision. I've learned that it is a manifestation of my anxiety. I fear that I am going to do it wrong, so I don't do anything at all.

This is not a healthy mindset, though neither is rushing into decisions without considering the effect you will have.

My conclusion is to act mindfully. Consider any possible consequence, but do not let fear immobilize you. Speak your truth and trust in yourself.

Though this fear of doing something wrong comes up frequently for me, it hit me hard with the call for justice against racism. I want to speak out, but I'm afraid I will say something the wrong way. I don't want to harm the movement when my intention is to help.

In this case, I must act! I will not stay quiet with such injustice running rampant. I am listening. I am learning. I can speak out with confidence by practicing mindful action.

You are enough. You are worthy. Your voice matters. This is true in the fight against racism and in the small moments of your life. You can make a difference. Now is the time.


Monday, June 8, 2020

Black Lives Matter

Selfie in Seattle, WA

“Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr

I am listening. I am learning.

My entire message is to embrace who you are. I accept that I come from great privilege. I understand that for me to come into my power, I have to untangle my emotions. This is an inside job. However, for many people, their struggles are not coming only from within themselves, but from the very system they are trying to live and work in.

To be able to unlock the highest potential of yourself, you must first feel safe and supported. I take that place of stability for granted. I want to recognize those who do not have that privilege.

Black Lives Matter. 

The color of skin does not affect the essential need to provide for family and find joy in life. Blacks should not have to look over their shoulder worried about a bigot controlled by their ego.

We all have enough fear coming from inside to keep us busy. Don't put your hatred and self-loathing on someone else. 

Look inward. What battle do you fight? Everyone has these battles inside. You are not alone.

Love yourself. Love each other. Stop killing Black people!

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” ~ Nelson Mandela

Spread the love and stand up for what is right!

How can you help?

  • Educate yourself
  • Sign petitions
  • Vote!
  • Donate
  • Call and email to demand justice
  • Support Black businesses and artists
  • Share
CLICK HERE for a master list of resources from Black Lives Matter.


Peace and Love,

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Finding My Voice

Photo by David Kiriakidis on Unsplash

Seeking my voice has been my quest for a couple years now. I keep getting closer to finding my confidence and style, but inevitably something keeps holding me back. I'm tired of being scared.

This week riots have broken out all over the country to support Black Lives Matter. I support this and want to help, but I don't know how. I feel at a loss of what to say. I don't want to say the wrong thing and hurt where I intend to help. I am paralyzed by the fear of doing it wrong so I don't do, or say, anything at all.

This is not acceptable!

Inaction is a choice. Silence is not the choice I want to make when people are dying just for being who they are.

My entire message is to embrace who you are. I come from great privilege. I understand that for me to come into my power, I have to unblock my own emotions. It is an inside job. However, for many people, their blocks are not coming from within themselves, but from the very system they are trying to live and work in. 

To be able to unlock the highest potential of yourself, you must first feel safe and supported. I take that place of stability for granted. I want to recognize those who do not have that privilege. 

I am creating a new look for my website. I want my platform to be a constant conversation. I tend keep the majority of my thoughts hidden away. I want to begin writing my notes to share instead of keeping them for my own benefit. There is no magic solution to breakthroughs. You do something and then decide if you want to keep doing it or change it. By seeing my process, I hope you can find a nugget of information or perspective to help you in your own journey.

I don't want to dilute the powerful message Black Lives Matter is broadcasting on social media. But I do have something to say. I realize that I have this amazing platform that I'm hardly using at all. I want to change that. 

For the time being, I want to lift up the voices of others who will make an impact. In the background, I will be updating my website a little bit at a time so that it can be actively used as a base of operations.  

My purpose is to share experiences, tools and wisdom to find balance in emotional health so you can breakthrough your creative barriers and live the life you want. 

It is time for great change. I am done being scared. I'm ready to lift my voice. Will you join me?


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