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Curiosity.

I was listening to a Magic Lessons podcast from Elizabeth Gilbert yesterday as I went on a walk around the neighborhoods near my apartment. I've fallen in love with this podcast, because Liz talks about creativity and living beyond fear in a way that is just stunning and tangible and applicable and so motivating. In this episode, she advised this stuck artists to write letters that embodied the personas of Fear and Curiosity. She said to write them like they are alive and living within us and trying to win over our creative souls, telling us what they want.

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Today, I want to write that letter and embody curiosity. To hear my thoughts on fear, here's a vlog from last week all about it!


Dear You,

My name is Curiosity.

I'm that tiny whisper you hear when new things catch your eye and pique your interest. You know me, you've met me a million times. Usually, you're afraid of me, and I get that. My best friend Unknown and I are together a lot, and people kind of get intimidated by us. We know we seem glued at the hip, but we just click really well. I promise once you get to know Unknown, she won't seem as scary anymore! She's really awesome and there's so much more to her than meets the eye.

Okay, anyway, this isn't about her. This is about you and I. I want us to be friends. I know you feel like I'm childish or silly or frivolous, and while that's a big part of me, I'm so much deeper than that too. My favorite quote is from C.S. Lewis (and I know you're a fan too) that says "there are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind." You know that's true! All I'm asking is that you take a chance on me more.

Give me the opportunity to show you that you're capable of great, beautiful, wonderful things. Let me introduce you to Unknown and show you she is full of so much more than you can even dream about. Come play with me. Spend time with me. Embrace the whimsy. I just want to show you there's more and it's worth it. 

I want you to pick up the paintbrush even though you say you aren't a painter. I want you to write in those big margins of your Bible and not worry about messing it up. I want you to step foot in the new coffee shop and say hi to the cute boy across the room and taste the new food and blaze the new trails. I want you to embrace me wholeheartedly. I'm a really good time, I promise! I'm so much fun to be around.

There's always something new with me, but it's not daunting but exciting instead.

I want you to read the books from the authors you love and the authors you've never encountered before and the authors you've heard mixed opinions about. I want you to study topics that excite you or interest you, even if they're totally wild and wacky. I want you to pursue those things, because those things are what I'm all about. I just want you to get to know me better so we can discover new depths and new heights and new ideas together.

You're talented and capable. You are an artist. You are a writer. You are a creator. I just want to bring you into more of those callings. I want to illuminate things you never noticed before to show you that there is goodness and inspiration there too.

My very name means "a strong desire to learn or know something" -- it's in my DNA. 

I just want us to be best friends. I have more up my sleeve than you can imagine, dear one. I'll make you better in ways you never dreamed of. Take a chance on me. I know Fear is playing the devil on your other shoulder, and I get that, but life's a lot more fun with me. I'll show it to you, bit by bit, and it will blow you away.

I love you and I believe in you. Let's get closer.

Forever in your favor,

Curiosity


Every day in October, I'm writing whatever comes to mind when I focus on one word.

You can find all of my Write 31 Days posts HERE.

To Quote Them

Lately, I've been reading good stuff. I've kept the fiction on the shelf and been diving deep into rich, real, great books. There have been several quotes that are too good to keep to myself but too long to tweet, so here they are! Hope you enjoy them. I highly recommend each of the books they are from!

This is the love you have been looking for all of your life. This is the only love that can’t let you down. This is bomb-proof love. Not friend-love, not personal acclaim, not married love, and not even romantic love—it is this love that you are after, underneath the pursuit of all those others. And it this love of active obedience is an active reality in your life, you will be a person of integrity; you will be a person of prayer; you will be kind to people who mistreat you. If you have this love, you will be a little more like him. Look at him dying in the dark for you. Let it melt you into his likeness.
— Timothy Keller, in "Encounters with Jesus: Unexpected Answers to Life's Biggest Questions"
Because the most important thing about art is work. Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying. Why is this so important? Because when we sit down day after day and keep grinding, something mysterious starts to happen. A process is set into motion by which, inevitably and infallibly, heaven comes to our aid. Unseen forces enlist in our cause; serendipity reinforces our purpose.
— Steven Pressfield, in "The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles"
For our lives to be works of art, we need to allow a lifetime of work. We must give god the time to make us works of art. We must press close to God and allow both the tenderness of his touch and the pressure of his hands to shape us and mold us into someone we would not be without him. If we want our lives to be works of art, we must be willing to take the time and risk the intimacy required for creating an artisan life. We have to get close enough to allow the hands of God to press against us and reform us.
— Erwin McManus, in "The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art"
Put simply, life is God-given opportunity to become who we are, to affirm our own true spiritual nature, claim our truth, appropriate and integrate the reality of our being, but, most of all, to say “Yes” to the One who calls us the Beloved. The unfathomable mystery of God is that God is a Lover who wants to be loved.
— Henri J.M. Nouwen, in "Life of the Beloved"

Loving Lately: May 13

Every now and then, I find that there are so many things I just want everyone to know about and love like I do. I've shared posts like this before and they're always one of my favorites, and it's been a while since the last one!

So, let's go (roughly) clockwise around this picture starting at the top and check out what I'm loving lately!


Fresh flowers -- because I'm a big believer in always having flowers on the table or in my room. Life is better that way. I could do without the ants that are OBSESSED with living on these peonies though...

Essential oils -- yep, I jumped on the bandwagon. (edited in 2019 to add — these cheap oils were exactly that… cheap. I’ve since purchased Young Living oils and will never go back.)

Necklaces with the letter "R" -- because although I hate monograms, I love my initials! One family I babysit for gave me the gorgeous Kate Spade circle necklace with the "R" engraved, and I absolutely love it. The other one I picked up recently at Quirk Gallery downtown during First Fridays and it's been a daily favorite.

The Scribble Diary and 1 Page at a Time- A Daily Creative Companion -- because some days, having a page full of creative little prompts to get my pen moving and thoughts flowing is exactly what I need. Both of these little books are fun, quirky, easy to do, and a great little jumpstart to creativity.

Sparkling water -- because as a girl who doesn't drink soda and tries to avoid super sugary juice (but still loves it), this is a good substitute. I found raspberry lime flavor and it has the best hint of flavor with all the fun of bubbly carbonation. It's a nice mix-up from my usual big mason jar of ice water!

My new index card quote organization system -- I ALWAYS underline and highlight quotes in books I love, and never remember them after the fact. I found myself constantly wishing I could just command+F through my bookshelf to find quotes to add to blog posts or my journals, and this is the next best thing! I got these little index card cases with dividers at Target, made some more dividers with index cards and sticky tabs, and wrote key words on them all. I've been going through my bookshelf, writing down quotes, and filing them under key words, and I think it will be great resource! Plus, I just love writing on index cards for some reason.

Homegrown kale from our backyard garden -- because everything tastes better when you know just where it came from and just whose hands touched it before yours. We built two huge gardens (with a fence around to keep the critters out, HAHA squirrels!) and have already been enjoying SO MANY greens, with so many other veggies coming soon!

This to-do list -- because it's Rifle Paper Company (and they can do no wrong) and it was the sweetest birthday gift from a dear friend! I love making lists, and they're even better when they're on cute paper.

This "Windows Down" playlist -- because 80 degree sunshine calls for good tunes and windows down cruising around town.

#100daysofRADpages -- because forcing myself to put pen to paper in some way every day for these 100 days has been a really fun challenge. Find them all every day on Instagram!

This popcorn -- because YUM. I love popcorn of all kinds, and these Boom Chicka Bites called "Sweet & Salty Nut" are the best Cracker Jack-ish treat! They have cashews, almonds and peanuts in clusters with the best ancient grain popcorn, and they're addicting. I won't say I ate them all in one day...but I might have.

This shampoo and conditioner -- because 1. it's at Target (the best store), 2. it's sulfate and paraben-free (good stuff, even though I'm not 100% sure what that means), 3. each bottle bought provides a month's supply of clean water to a community in need (COME ON, that's awesome), 4. it smells heavenly and wonderful, 5. it makes my hair feel awesome. SO MANY WINS.


What are you loving lately? Anything I MUST check out? Let me know!

Heart // A SpeakUp! vlog

Welcome to the second month of the SpeakUp! link up hosted by Amber of Mr. Thomas & Me and Annie of What She Saw! If you missed last month (the theme was Wild and Free) you can find my vlog here.

This month, the theme is HEART. I've shared one of my all time favorite C.S. Lewis quotes below and then rambled on video for five minutes-- enjoy! It's been so fun to show you all my face and kind of come out from behind the words a little bit through these vlogs, so I hope you're enjoying it as much as I am!

 

Also-- how was giving a two minute speech in my college public speaking class SO HARD but somehow, I talk for five minutes on video without realizing it's been that long?! Bizarre.


To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.
— C.S. Lewis
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