I am a professional artist, textile designer, and blogger. I live in Canada with my husband and daughter. I have a passion for meeting people and creating new things. Share my adventures by following my blog at http://anieksteph.com powered by Wordpress. For inquiries please email me at Stephanie.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sometimes people are stuck in lives that they never imagined for themselves. When they are trapped, their dissatisfaction can come out in very negative ways. I have met many people like this and you might be intrigued by my list of…
3 People You Will Meet in a Dead End Job
These people are miserable and consider themselves too old to learn anything. This can be really frustrating to deal with because learning new things can happen at any age. They act as though the organization owes them something for their perceived sacrifices to continue to work in a dead end job. They will point out your mistakes gleefully, but duck for cover if you ever clap back.
These people come to work with terrible hygiene, and an even worse attitude. They seem to waft through the workplace with an attitude that says: “Why should I bother to dress neatly or comb my hair for my co-workers? I hate them all anyway because their lives aren’t as difficult as mine is.”
You can imagine how disappointing it is to share a workspace with someone like this. They thrive on victim hood as the reason for why they don’t need to put any effort into how they present themselves. Nothing is their fault, and even though they are past their 30s, and their parents are still to blame for every problem in their life.
This person is the doormat for the organization. They have been sipping the kool-aid for long enough that the brainwashing has set in: they believe that they are “lucky” to have a job where there is no training, no real leadership, and no managers to look out for them as an employee.
Coupled with an ever changing list of duties, they are always taking on new roles without getting any extra pay- or even any recognition. They are a pushover, and being terribly undervalued by their organization for no real benefit.
Have you met anyone like the three people listed here? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below. Thanks for stopping by.
You might not realize that your performance is dipping until it is too late. Don’t ignore the urging of your mind to take a vacation from day to day life. Recharge your batteries as regularly as you can to avoid burnout. If you aren’t sure if this is you take a look at my…
8 Signs Your Performance is Dipping to New Lows
You are consistently late, despite tardiness having never been a problem before.
You are not getting prepared as well as you need to be. This leaves you running late and rushing for every event.
You can’t wait for the long weekend, so you take Thursday and Friday off… then maybe call in sick Tuesday.
You aren’t showing up. You know that most of success is just showing up, so why aren’t you meeting that basic requirement?
When you get home, you launch your work items across the room because you just don’t want to see them again until its time to go back to work. You are so drained that you will not be doing anything constructive tonight.
I have been guilty of leaving coats on the floor near the door, dropping my bags, and never emptying my lunch containers from the work day. I realize now that my job left me so drained that I was doing a bad job at taking care of myself properly.
You feel threatened by younger co-workers. Their optimism and excitement makes you feel angry and impatient.
Does the ever-chipper attitude of your younger cohorts make you want to vomit with rage? The problem may be your attitude, and not theirs. You may be feeling jealous of their perceived value in your eyes, compared to your productivity that seems to be dipping day by day.
You dread the few hours before lunch and before the end of each day.
This is basically the whole day.
Your commute to the office feels much shorter than it is. It seems like delaying the inevitable misery of going to work is all you can do.
A long commute usually drains you, but if you are suffering from a dipping productivity, you may treasure the time spent on the way there, and feel immense relief when you are on your way home.
Your work is producing errors that your former self would have caught immediately.
Your heart is not really in it. You feel disconnected from the work you are doing. Your desire to produce quality work is going down the tubes.
Your conversations with your boss have shortened so significantly, that you haven’t seen more than the side of their face for a while- especially when you are speed walking to get out of the building as fast as possible.
All of the signs of disengagement are there. Why not do something about them?
Do any of these signs resonate with you? Leave comments in the section below, and thanks for stopping by.
There are times in life when you are hurt from a broken heart or the loss of a loved one. The pain is excruciating at the beginning, however over time, you should be able to move forward; even if it is a little bit at a time.
In my own life I have found that being creative has helped me through very difficult and dark times. I find that creating art, in particular, has helped me to heal when experiencing hardships. Want to know how?
Here are my…
4 Ways Art Will Heal You
Art offers a new perspective.
When you create art, you are able to sit quietly and reflect. You are able to think about hurt feelings, or memories from the past. If you chose to go deeper, your artwork can represent your feelings in a physical form- allowing for visualization. When you see the work you create, you may find that a new perspective emerges. You will at least benefit from expressing the feelings, and getting them off of your mind, instead of bottling them within.
Helps you embrace your faves!
When you create art, it is an expression of what your soul is feeling or what you hope to convey as your potential mindset. You are sad, but you want to feel excited about life again; so you create work that reflects that desire.
For me, I love colours that evoke a warm feeling within me. For you, it can be shapes or symbols. Think about the things that make you happy, and you can include it in your work. For the time that you are creating, your entire world can be made of sunshine, rainbows, and friggin unicorns if you want. Whatever you need to reach your healing mindset through your art.
Adds the potential for sharing and caring.
Making art provides an activity for you to share with a loved one. The experience helps to heal broken hearts by creating an opportunity to do things together. Being together with people who care about you is important for healing. Talking is therapy. Time spent together is irreplaceable.
Calms you at the end of a long day.
Depending on where you are in your journey to pursue your passions, you may still be selling your time at your unhappy job. This can leave you feeling much more tired at the end of a long day than you should feel. You may have been catering to other people’s needs so intensely, that you have barely had a moment to address your own. Your pain will not go away by ignoring it. Creating art can be meditative in practice, allowing a regenerative benefit to your mind. This regeneration from the healing properties of creating art will give you the strength to fight-on for another day.
Creating art has helped me a lot in my life. Has it helped you? Leave your comments in the section below, and thank you for stopping by.
Have you spent a lot of time in isolation during 2020? Perhaps you have used the time to improve yourself beyond where you were last year. I hope you did something more constructive than watching hours of television each night before falling asleep.
In my days of social isolation due to the pandemic, I was able to learn a lot about myself. I discovered that I am a person who likes to have friends around- but also that I needed to center my mind toward achieving the life I have always dreamed of.
Here are my…
5 Ways Isolation Gets You Back to Center
No pointless chit-chat.
As much as I enjoy socializing and meeting new people, I really don’t love pointless chit-chat all that much. I am a lover of deep conversations where I can get beyond superficial masks. Chit chat takes time and brain power away from talking about real things. Not wasting time discussing mindless subjects was the first step toward reaching the real version of myself, and I am getting closer to it each day.
You can fully relax
Feeling natural in your own skin is something that you might have taken for granted, depending on what you did before the 2020 Pandemic. I used to work in a very conservative environment, so the only times I could truly be myself was when I laid down my head at night.
When you don’t feel like you can be yourself in your environment, you are pushed and pulled into the shapes of what other people around you want to see. You can’t relax because you are always trying to hold your new shape, and you don’t feel happy because you are in constant fear of being singled out. Isolation can provide you with the freedom to be yourself; and you will find ways to relax that you never thought were possible.
Slow your pace.
When you are in isolation, you have the ability to slow your pace to a speed that works for you. I am not talking about loafing around all day- I am talking about achieving your goals at a pace that is not dictated by an external force like a boss standing behind you or a work whistle blowing. By moving at your own pace, you are able to take inventory of your process in ways that work for you, since your clock is the only one that matters.
You are forced to think.
When a trip to the grocery store will take you an extra 25 minutes to wait in a line due to the 2020 Pandemic, you are forced to think a lot more about whether you really need the item.
It forces you to think whether an extra bottle of Vodka is truly necessary in light of how long and how much effort it will take. When you are in isolation, you may even need to consider things like your spending habits, which may have been in excess before the Pandemic. Being forced to think about how much you really need something is not a bad thing, since you will likely do just fine without it.
Isolation promotes your ability to be grateful for human relationships that fulfill your spirit. One quote that comes to mind is that “distance makes the heart grow fonder”. I think that in the absence of human contact, I have longed for that closeness that comes from great conversations and time spent with friends.
I am so grateful for the people in my life that have supported me, and this became very clear to me during my time at home. I think that it is important to remember that each one of us is the by-product of every interaction and experience in life; so in order to have a genuine love for yourself, you must embrace those things as well.
What did you learn during time spent in isolation? Leave your comments in the section below, and thanks for stopping by.
So, you are in the process of changing your life. Maybe you are about to change your job, begin a new hobby, or some other exciting lifestyle change. No matter what it is that you are about to do, you have concerns that you may not be making a sound decision.
Sometimes we lie to ourselves through a lens of “toxic positivity”. Sometimes the person with the problem, is you, and the way you are seeing a situation. A great way to address this possibility is with my…
Three tips for breaking the honesty barrier with yourself.
Don’t ask for anyone’s opinion…yet.When you start this exercise, it might be wise to avoid asking anyone to contribute their opinions about you.
More often than not, asking a friend or family member to identify areas where you could improve as a person will end up in hurt feelings. If you must ask- do so AFTER you have started your own process of reflection. Self-examine the key ideas that you have noticed about yourself, before bringing it up to anyone else.
Use plain language
Using plain language about what you are feeling will help you in this process. If you are angry: say so! If you are jealous: be truthful.The reason isn’t important right now. You must first identify the emotion before you can start a dialogue with yourself.
Once you have found it…Write your honesty down. Don’t rely on memory. Real progress emerges when the results are measurable. The only way to measure this is by keeping track of where you are today.
At the end of the day, it is extremely important to be honest with yourself. How will you know what your true limitations are, if you do not mentally address them with yourself? Be sure to stay aware of your blind spots- or else you might not see what could be coming to knock you down.
Do you have other strategies to being more honest with yourself? Leave your comments in the section below, and thanks for stopping by.
If you are reading this post, you have a lot to be grateful for. You should be grateful for the ability to see, and to read my words; and you also should be grateful for access to technology that is connecting you to the internet.
Cultivating an attitude of gratitude is something that will help you each day that you pursue your artistic passions. You are likely to be practicing gratitude right now, so in that event here are my…
7 Ways to Cultivate Gratitude in Your Daily Life
Put things back
When you use one of your belongings, you should put it back where it came from when you finish with it. All of your belongings have a home, so an act of practicing gratitude is to return those items at the end of their use.
You will appreciate things more often when they do not exist on the floor, or cluttering up a hallway table. Put things away, and you will get a clearer picture of what you have to be grateful for.
Make your bed
Make your bed and tidy your bedroom when you wake each morning. When I was a child, my Jamaican Grandmother used to imprint this practice into my mind and I would ALWAYS make the bed. As I got older, this practice fell by the wayside and I became a bit more of a slob without her watchful eye.
Now that I am an adult with my own family, I realize the importance of making the bed each morning. When you walk into a room where the bed is neatly spread with sheets, and the pillows are fluffed perfectly, you FEEL calmer than you would if you walked into a messy room. The feeling of gratitude washes over you in a neat and tidy room because you can recognize the comfort that your bed represents, and appreciate the lack of visual clutter. Make your bed every day for a week, and I guarantee you will feel grateful that you did.
Write thank you notes
Writing thank you notes was a practice that was common in older generations. Now, people only write these notes for the guests that attended their gatherings like weddings or baby showers. It has largely been forgotten for young people, and I believe that it is a signal of our society becoming more self-centered, and less concerned with etiquette.
I think that “thank you” emails, notes, and texts are important because they allow the writer and the receiver to show their gratitude for the experience, as well as for the relationships they have. They are a physical representation of the high regard you feel for that person, and I think it only adds to the sentiment of being grateful for your life.
Count your blessings
We have all heard this saying (I hope), but you can also accomplish this by counting the things that you DON’T need to worry about. Are you debt free? Do you have great family members and friends who do not bring you down with their negativity on a regular basis? If so: you should be grateful for this! Count your blessings, by counting what you don’t need to worry about!
Volunteering your time to help your community is a great way to cultivate gratitude for what you have. If you can’t volunteer, donate to a local food bank by driving over to drop off food items.
I have always been called a “dreamer” because my eyes are always looking up to the sky. If staring blindly into the sun isn’t your thing (lol), then take notice of the clouds. Take note of the shapes and symbols that appear to you. Make sure that when you look up, however, you are in a safe position to do so.
Celebrate your birthday
Each year that passes is an achievement. Sometimes we shy away from celebrating milestones because it reminds us of how old we are. Try looking at it this way: if you have made it to 85, rejoice! You have outsmarted and outlived many other people! Anyone who lives that long must be doing something right, so take ownership of that and celebrate it. Research shows that the celebration of milestones contributes to feelings of gratitude- so why not try it this year?
Do you practice gratitude in your daily life? What are your methods? I would love to read your comments in the section below. Thanks for stopping by.
In today’s world, digital art fuels the market. Many people avoid buying original artwork, and instead opt for mass produced, poor quality art canvas that is readily available at Home Decorating Stores. These pieces are usually cookie-cut-copies and say nothing about you, yet they hang on the walls of your home- a place that really should be a sanctuary for you from the outside world.
These mass produced works are usually worthless on the resale market, and are likely to be seen as old and dated by next season. It was never created with an intention of being long lasting- so do not be surprised if by next year, you already hate it.
Investing in original art is not just for the wealthy or eccentric; anyone can do it, and here are my…
5 Reasons Why You Should Invest in Original Art
Mass produced art has nearly zero emotional value. The process of buying mass produced art goes something like this:
Your in-laws are visiting your home this weekend and staying the guest room, so you take a trip to the local home decorating store. When you get there, you grab something big enough to cover up as much space on your wall as you can for your budget; and when you go to pay, the cashier asks you if you would like to donate $2 to a local charity.
There was no part of that story that included how the artwork spoke to you, or made you feel anything. The piece has no emotional value to you beyond the price tag.
Money goes into the right pockets.
Original artwork puts money into the pockets of artists, not the companies who are mass producing it. Even if the companies who are mass producing artwork are in fact hiring real artists to come up with the concepts for their products, they are paid only a fraction of the value of their work. The people who dare to dream should have the benefit of financial success in selling their artwork. They should be rewarded with a standard of living that allows them to continue to create more art.
Creating art is a passion.
People who spend their time creating art do it to evoke an emotion from the observer, and to express a feeling they have. Buying original art can connect you to the artist in ways that are deep and spiritual. You may be able to feel the passion conveyed from the artist through their work. If you connect with this passion, you may form a bond that lasts a lifetime.
Quality over quantity.
The quality of most original art truly exceeds the mass produced stuff at home decor stores. The materials used by artists are usually UV resistant, and may even be sealed in resin. Mass produced art is created with profit margins in mind. There is very little thought put toward using materials that will last, and even the construction of the art (i.e. the wood frame) lacks any real craftsmanship.
Mass produced art is usually priced by the size of the piece, which creates a false mindset from consumers that bigger is always better. This leads to paying per inch- a price model that does not translate well into the original art buying market.
If you are like me, you want to live a life that is closer to your true purpose. You are unique. There is no one else in the world who is exactly like you- (rejoice!). So why would you want artwork that has been reproduced so many times that 60 other people in your neighborhood have as well?
Having original art furthers your new attitude about your unique existence. It is something that is exclusive to you- which will encourage and inspire you to continue to pursue your passions, and strive for the life that you are meant to have. In addition to this, once you enter the world of original art, you can give yourself the coveted title of: Art Collector (ooh la la! Look at you!)
I hope these five reasons why you should invest in original art has opened your mind. Original art does not need to cost you a lot- but the benefits to you, and to the artist are farther reaching than you can imagine.
Have you ever purchased original artwork? Are you an art collector? Tell me what you think by leaving your comments in the section below, and thank you for stopping by.
Life can get crazy. I know that you know this already. Some of us get so wrapped up in our problems and fears that it seems impossible to notice simple things like the name of the store clerk helping you find something, or the colour of that traffic light you just went through.
Hopefully it was green, but if it wasn’t, I wish you a speedy recovery.
There is no easy way to change your mindset. It takes determination and a strong desire to want to be different. In helping you on your journey, here are my…
5 Ways to Appreciate the Little Moments in Life
Examine the colour of your favourite items.
Perhaps you tell everyone that your favourite colour is deep forest green; but many of your personal items are blue or gold coloured. I’m not trying to throw shade for asking, but how well do you know yourself? Take an objective look. You might be surprised at what you discover.
Count how many items you have that came from somewhere else.
Now I don’t mean to ask you to take inventory of how many things in your house come from China, or you will probably be counting for a long time. What I mean is that you should take a look at how many keepsakes you have that you acquired on travels to other places.
I have a decorative vase that I acquired while visiting the Portuguese island of Madeira. I also have a small and colourful dish from my trip to Mexico. Keeping sight of these items reminds me of how lucky I have been to be able to travel, and have experiences that bring warm memories to my thoughts. I appreciate those little moments because they remind me of my past accomplishments.
Open your refrigerator
Do you have a refrigerator that is filled with food? You should appreciate this! Now grab a healthy snack while you are there!
When you are about to part ways with an old friend, or a new acquaintance, linger an extra two and a half seconds. Lingering longer will allow you to appreciate the moment, and to bask in the positive warmth and good feelings from that person.
Arrive on time to your next event or gathering.
Often times the only opportunity you have to thank the volunteers and organizers of an event is before it gets into full swing. Once other guests have arrived, it can become impossible to show appreciation for the time and effort spent putting the event together. Appreciating others promotes positive vibes, and allows us all to take notice of how lucky we are to share our moments together.
Do you have ways to help you appreciate life’s little moments? Leave your comments in the section below, and thanks for stopping by.
Being present in everyday life is like showing up to an important event. The sights and the sounds of an experience can be missed when you are not paying attention to them. When the event is over, you can be left feeling like you weren’t really a part of anything, or that your life is passing you by.
Seize those moments with a vice-like grip. Don’t get lost in your own thoughts. Wake up and stop ignoring the possibility of having the life you are dreaming of.
Here are my…
7 Ways to be Present in Everyday Moments
Count the ceiling tiles.
When you are tempted to lose yourself in your phone, take a few minutes to focus on the number of ceiling tiles, or the number of steps in your area. Take inventory of the architectural features of the room so that you can keep your mind in a state of awareness of what is around you.
Speak last in your meetings.
Wait until everyone else has spoken, then voice your opinion. Be sure not to seem impatient as if you are only waiting for your turn. Listen.
Recall other languages
In certain moments, try to recall phrases from different languages that you know. If you are fluent in other languages, even better! Try to describe what you see in the alternate languages that you know. You might even come across something that you cannot explain, which in turn can churn inspiration for a later date.
Put down your mobile phone
This one is self-explanatory. How can you be present in any situation if your eyes are glued to your phone?
Draw a sketch
Use a piece of paper to leave beautiful artwork for someone else. You might be surprised by how relaxing the sensation of a pencil moving across paper can feel.
Using your same paper…
Write an interesting quote or turn of phrase that you over hear in any conversations nearby. If you are in silence, think of one that resonates with you.
Chew, breathe, sip…
If you are eating, chew slower. Resist the desire to inhale your food.
Focus your breath to breathe deeper. When was the last time your lungs REALLY expanded?
Sip some water. We can all use a bit more hydration every now and then.
I hope you enjoyed my 7 ways to be present in everyday moments. Do you have any ideas that you practice? Leave your comments in the section below, and thanks for stopping by.