How to find comfort in the unknown

Gratitude Quote

special guest post by Andrea Leda

Can you believe we’re already nearing the end of 2014? This has been an incredible year although rather challenging too. And I don’t think I’m alone in this.

The first half of the year was riddled with uncertainty and it culminated in me making a major life change. In June I came to a fork in the road and I questioned some big parts of my life like my marriage, my work, and if I wanted to pursue motherhood.

Have you ever sat back and wondered about your life? What you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and what’s to come? It can be a wonderful gift but also a little scary because it can open a floodgate of curiosity. So I did something I’ve never done – I stood still. I put the intention out into my world that I needed to make some changes and then I rested on faith.

For me faith means trusting in uncertainty and having massive belief that the unknown is ok. Then the oddest thing happened – my life started to fall into place. It took a lot of hard conversations and belief that everything would not only be ok but they would be better. As we close out this year I am so full of gratitude for sitting into that place of not knowing and letting my curiosity take the reigns.

Through my experience I developed a gratitude practice. It was all I could think to do because as far as I knew my world was crumbling around me. There was nothing I could do but let it happen. Sometimes you have to let what you know go to pieces to see what else is really possible.

I used to practice gratitude by being thankful for what I had like my home, my friends and family, and my health. But this year I needed to dig deeper. Trusting in the unknown brought me to my knees on some days and I found myself being grateful for love, compassion, purpose, connectedness, peace, conviction, patience, faith, miracles, and forgiveness.

These were the things that would always be there, no matter what. Every time I reached for one I felt better and more grounded. The fear and anxiety of what was happening didn’t disappear but I wasn’t as afraid anymore.

This is my Ultimate Gratitude List. When I need a little more courage or to remember my place in things I still use this list to center myself. They are my gift to you –

  1. Love
  2. Compassion
  3. Purpose
  4. Forgiveness
  5. Connectedness
  6. Peace
  7. Conviction
  8. Patience
  9. Faith
  10. Miracles

Whatever this year brought you I encourage you to go through each and say, “I am grateful for…” Just see how they make you feel.

In addition, Angee and I have been working on something pretty special involving each of the gratitude’s above. Imagine ending your year with pages full of how you’ve shown up this year and practiced these. They can help set you up for the year ahead. Stay tuned!

Andrea-LedaAndrea Leda Wilborn, BA, CLC, JTTS is a life coach, journal guide, and blogger. Andrea helps her clients to relieve stress and anxiety, navigate big changes, and realign their life by tapping into their intuition. In addition, Andrea teaches individuals how to use their journal as a tool for navigating more fulfilling lives. Andrea teaches Journal to the Self classes and has published several journal courses. She uses journal writing and her refined intuition as the basis for her life-changing coaching sessions.

These are a few of my favorite things…

Angee's Favorite Things

Every year I try to think of something unique to show my clients my appreciation around this time of year. This year I thought I would share a few of my favorite things that I use.

favorite-things-4

Just a note, I am recommending these products but I am not receiving any commission. I truly just love these products and want to share them with you in hopes they will enrich your lives and make things easier or at least more enjoyable for you.

1. Well-Kept: I think I first learned about this product through Spanx. Yes, you heard me right Spanx. Sara Blakley hosts an entrepreneurial contest called “A Leg Up.” The founder of Well-Kept, Neely Kolsch, was the winner for her great product. I love this product because our cell phones can be the most germ infested item that we use all the time. This product will help you stay healthy and it is fashionably packaged.

2. PowerNOW! Portable Device and Phone Chargers: If you are anything like me, you are finding that you are always running out of juice for your phone. I love this portable charger so when I’m out or at a conference, I have extra back up for my phone so I don’t lose touch!

3. Good Karmal: Those little wrapped jewels scattered around are the best darn caramels I’ve ever put in my mouth. I actually heard the founder on a podcast and I just feel in love with their message to not only create a delicious piece of candy but they also have a little fortune that is inspiring. They come in a variety of flavors, Vanilla, Sea Salt, Chocolate Sea Salt, Caramel Apple and Butter Rum. There isn’t one that isn’t tasty.

4. Sheic Journals: Okay maybe I’m a little bias here but I do love a good journal. When I was a little girl, I would pack up all of my favorite things in to a handkerchief and tie it to a stick and pretend I was running away. I always included my journal. It is so personal and the closest thing that represented me fully. I love sharing this piece of myself with you and hoping you can create something that is a representation of you.

Discoveries of the week

_Each new day is a blank page in the

This week I thought I would share with you some things I came across in my research and what came in my inbox.

I recently signed up for a hike & journal event coming up in March. I’m super excited. We will do a little hiking and then do a little journaling. After I signed up, I came across this interview and it made me even more excited to want to do the hike.

I had this journal prompt delivered in to my inbox this week from the wonderful Andrea Leda. I thought it was so interesting and very introspective. Also be sure to join our email list as Andrea and I will be launching something really soon to help you get through the holidays.

Looking for some great writing instruments for your journaling? Check out Michelle’s review of what is in her pencil case. It is very insightful.

Feel free to share some journaling resources you have come across this week in the comments below.

 

Are you making these mistakes when shopping for a journal?

Do you have half empty journals or never seem to finish one? Check out this video for the most common mistakes people make when purchasing a journal. After watching this video, you buy your next journal with confidence and it won’t just sit on your shelf!

Need a bit of inspiration to get you in to journaling?

Top 7 Resources Inspire Journaling

Over the last few weeks we have been getting to the core as to why people don’t journal. Many of you took the assessment I offered to see just how overwhelmed you are in your life. I then discovered that you truly believed journaling could help you get out of the feeling of overwhelm but you didn’t know how to find time to journal so I shared with you 25 Ways to Find More Time to Journal. Now that I’ve found you the time, I bet you are wondering what to journal or need some inspiration. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Here are my top 7 resources that I like to use to inspire me to journal. I hope you find them inspiring as well. If you have other resources, please feel free to share in the comments below as we would love to find more resources.

Blogs/Websites

createwritenow

Mari’s sends out a journal prompt each week and she has a wonderful blog with great guest posts. Her site has many resources. Be sure to check her out at www.createwritenow.com

seaweedkisses

Michelle does some amazing things with her journals and she interviews other journalers. The photos alone are inspirational. Be sure to check her out at seaweedkisses.blogspot.com

andrealeda

Andrea has a great newsletter I subscribe to. She is very wise and she also sends out some great journal prompts. Be sure to sign up for her Journal Starter Kit andrealeda.com

YouTube Channels

journal52

Actually this was tough because Chelle has a website called Journal52 and it is a weekly prompt for an entire year. It is a great site. The reason I put her in the YouTube category is because she does videos showing her art journaling process and I find them inspirational and relaxing at the same time. She does no talking just records herself doing her art journaling project. I am amazed at how she starts out with one design and by the time she’s done, it is completely different. Check out her YouTube channel here.

Podcasts

writeforlife

Nathan is the host of JournalTalk Radio. I just love his sweet disposition and bonus he and Mari McCarthy of Create Write Now host Q&A calls together. Nathan & Mari answer your questions about journaling and he also interviews experts in the journaling industry. Subscribe to his podcast here.

Facebook Groups

There are some great Facebook groups out there with members supporting each other. Most of them you have to request to join. You can find some of my favorites below:

Journal Chat Live

Art Journal Junkies

Well there you have my top 7 resources. Again, if you have a resource you would like to share, please leave a comment below.

 

Want more time to journal?

25 Ways Social

I am humbled and honored by the responses I received from the Are You In Overwhelm quiz. I never expected the response I have received. I was able to see the scores of those who submitted and I would say 90% of the people that completed the quiz were at high levels of overwhelm. Don’t worry the quizzes were anonymous. Many people went on to post comments on the blog about their daily struggles. My heart certainly felt a lot of your pain. I wish I could wipe it away and lessen your load.

I did have a lot of people comment that they understood the power of journaling but with an already overwhelming schedule, how could they find the time to journal? Now this is an area I can help with so I created 25 Ways to Find More Time to Journal. I kept it really simple and quick and I want to gift it to you. Just complete the form below to receive your free copy. I hope you find this guide helpful.

I want to encourage you for the next 30 days to implement a few of these tips to gain more time to journal and during this 30 days journal. At the end of the 30 days, let me know what has transpired. Did it help, was it too much on your plate, did you have some major shifts? Tell me the good, bad and ugly.

Download your free copy of 25 Ways to Find More Time to Journal

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Are you in overwhelm?

Having “balance” in your life is hard. There are those that argue there is no such thing as balance and those that say it is necessary. One thing we can all agree on is that there are times in our lives, some longer periods than others, where we feel overwhelmed by all the demands we have and also put on ourselves.

Take this assessment to find out what stage of overwhelm you are in and learn tips on how you can avoid increasing more demands on yourself. Your score will be displayed at the end.

Does your to-do list seem never ending? You can agree with the proverbial statement, “2 steps forward, 1 step back”.

 
 

Do you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night with your mind racing wondering if you forgot to…?

 
 

Do you feel exhausted and have a hard time feeling motivated to do anything? You might even vegetate in front of the TV because it is easy entertainment.

 
 

Do you feel like you have no time for yourself? Self-care. What’s that?!

 
 

You rarely eat healthy meals and you don’t exercise regularly.

 
 

Do you have that voice inside saying “Is this as good as it gets?”

 
 

Do you feel pulled in many directions through your family, work/business, friendships, home, partner or other activities?

 
 

Do you find it hard to say no to opportunities whether personal or business?

 
 

Do you find making decisions difficult and constantly hashing over a situation only to give yourself a headache?

 
 

Do you find you become sick with colds, flu’s or stomach aches easily?

 
 

Are you constantly running late for appointments or even forgetting them?

 
 

Does the least little thing cause you to snap and spiral you into berating yourself?

 
 

 

My top 3 resources to keep me walking in faith

This last year and a half has been a true test of my faith. I have never faced such challenges in my life and I would like to say the trials in my life are over but they are still in process. Maybe soon I will share the various things that have gone on but for now, I’m still working through them. I’ve had many questions for God and also trusting that my spirit is connecting to him and I’m hearing him. Moment when I thought I was listening to him turned out to be misguided or my own ego stepping in the way. Thank gooodness there have been a couple of resources that I learned about during this journey that really helped me to get through it.

I thought I would share these resources with you in case you found yourself in a journey where you feel lost and you are looking for guidance but feeling like you’re not being heard. I know how that feels as I’ve been there. I hope these resources will uplift, encourage and envelope you.

Here are the 3 resources:

300x300cherryblossoms

I don’t remember how I learned about She Reads Truth but I’m so glad I did. To share a little of my story, last year (as well as this year) I suffered a miscarriage. This was one of the most painful times in my life and really started the questioning I had. During this time, I came across this site and began receiving their devotionals daily. Those devotionals spoke to me as if God were speaking to me, which is what I needed at that moment to get me through something so painful and difficult. They are still a resource I use on a daily basis for my devotionals. I’m also so excited that they now have an app for iPhones so it makes it super easy to get my devotionals now.

P31 Daily Devotions

I found out about Proverbs 31 Ministries from one of my friends on Facebook. She posted a quote from this resource and I had to check them out. The messages that come out are so timely and simple. They have a Podcast as well so you can listen to the devotions. It is another resource I use for devotionals as well.

if-logo

I believe I found out about IF: on Instagram. I was curious to learn more so I visited their site and signed up for their newsletter. They send an email each day and I read  the scripture we are studying and then they will have a video commentary about what we just read. The video never lasts more than 3 minutes so it is quick. It is awesome to really dive in to God’s word. They also have a podcast that is amazing. Another piece to this ministry is that they have the IF: Gathering. They hold it once a year and it looks like an amazing time. Next year’s event is already sold out.

I hope these resources are helpful to you and you can find comfort and peace by utilizing them. Of course nothing replaces the word of God but you can use these tools to enhance your understanding of the word.

If you have any tools that have helped you during a rough period in your life, please let me know. Leave a comment below. Also if you find yourself in a particular dark period in your life, I’d love to pray for you. Please feel free to reach out to me personally at angee at sheicjournals dot com.

 

 

 

 

Social Media Diet

social-media-diet

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how I was contemplating unfriending thousands of people on Facebook here so I could get down to a core group that I really want to build connections with. Well I made the decision to do it and let me tell you, it has been LIBERATING! I started out with over 3000 people who had requested my friendship over the years. I think I fell a lot in to what the article, “The psychological addiction behind Facebook’s success” shares.

The only filter I used was I was cautious of men because lets face it as a woman sometimes there are men out there with nothing but bad intentions. If a man would send me a friend request and follow it up with a private message that said how beautiful I was and he was lonely well I removed him! Other than that the only other filter was if someone didn’t have their picture in their profile. If you want to be my friend, I need to see your face at least. After all, it is FACEbook.

After several years of taking this approach, my Facebook news feed started becoming too “noisy”. People of interest to me, became buried in other people’s information that I didn’t really know. I began to become overwhelmed and started to move away from Facebook completely. I do want to clarify that this is for my person profile on Facebook. Having a business page is something completely different and with a business page like I have with Sheic Journals it is different because people can follow the page at their own accord.

I started the removal process a few weeks and it has taken a lot of time. One day I sat for an hour and did nothing but unfriend people. I’m happy to report that I’m down from 3866 people to 1883 and I’m continuing to remove people. It looks like after all is said and done I will be left with several hundred people, much easier to manage and engage than thousands of people.

I’ve been finding that in a lot of areas in my life I’m minimizing the “extras” and just getting to the core. Maybe it has something to do with just recently celebrating a birthday and as I get older, I’m finding my mortality closer and closer so I just want to make real connections and have things in my life that support me rather than just give me a status. What about you? Have you ever thought about going on a “social diet”? Let me know your thoughts below. I’d love to support you.

 

Sometimes words aren’t enough

Art-Journaling-2

A few weeks ago I attended my first art journaling class. I was super excited. Of course when I finally found the studio, I was greeted at the door by the hostess and she informed me that their air conditioner was out. It seemed cool in the building so I didn’t mind and proceeded to follow her up the stairs to the studio. The further we climbed, the hotter it got. By the time we reached the top floor, it was 95+ degrees and sweat started dripping down my back. I persevered though and stayed 90 minutes of a two hour class. I lost a lot of weight that day needless to say.

I had a blast and I was inspired by the other women there. Of course I started comparing my work to theirs and started to doubt myself and my artistic abilities but my instructor quickly pointed out that this was about releasing emotions in the form of art. It wasn’t about making a pretty picture for someone or selling your art. Below was the first page I created.

art-journaling-2

I wish I wasn’t so stinking hot or I would have kept going. I loved getting to explore with different mediums such as water colors, stamps, spray colors, stencils, papers, etc. One thing the instructor shared, which really touched my heart was that she was diagnosed with breast cancer and she used art journaling to write down all her thoughts, feelings and rage she had. Once she got it all down on paper, she would then take gesso (which is a white paint like substance used for canvases) and cover the page with it thus erasing all the negative and then would do some positive art on top. It was so powerful to hear her tell the story. Journaling really is therapy and can be so healing.

If you’ve done some art journaling, I’d love to hear what mediums you use. Please leave a comment below. Also, I would love to see some of your work. Feel free to share with me on Facebook or Instagram. You can tag me on Instagram @sheicjournals. Of course I whole heartily invite you to leave a comment below.