On August 8th my blog will be two years old. Just writing that out makes it feel more real! I started this journey in a time that feels so different from the present, and my blog has grown with me. Today I was going through storage boxes as I prepare to leave for a semester abroad, and I stumbled upon books of poetry that I wrote in elementary school.
As I have mentioned before, my love for writing started around the second grade, when I would fill notebooks upon notebooks with stories and poems and let my imagination run free. Reading back through these poems, I am reminded of why I started my blog in the first place. It’s so easy to get caught up in the marketing side of blogging, and this has helped me remember that my blog is a place to share my journey with the world. I’ve learned more than I thought possible by learning about marketing and business, but it’s always important to remind yourself why you started.
I wanted to share a few of the poems that I found today with you, so that you can see where my love for writing came from, and where my blog inspiration took root.
As I read back over these poems, I was reminded of my love for the written word. I haven’t written poetry since 2011, but I now feel inspired to start anew. All of my gratitude goes to you, my readers, because you have allowed me to live my dreams.
© 2017 The Wise Willow and Alyssa DeBella. All rights reserved.
This post has not been sponsored. There are affiliate links within this post, which means that I get a percentage of a purchase you make when you click on them. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make The Wise Willow possible! (Also, as always, everything I promote I personally love! 🙂 )
I started watching Lilly Singh (aka Superwoman)’s YouTube videos way back in high school, during my homework breaks. I found her to be an inspiration, someone who was able to make me laugh and relate to her experiences. I followed her progression as a creator over the years, noticing how she grew as a person but always stayed true to the vision she had started with.
At that point in time, I had never thought of myself as a creator. In fact, if there was a project in high school that was described as a creative endeavor I would inwardly panic, thinking I had no creative ability whatsoever. I had always known that my drawing/painting/anything art related skills were far and few, not recognizing that there were other ways to be creative. I had boxed in a definition of creativity, and dismissed myself because I happened to fall outside of those characteristics.
I always love hearing how other creatives started their blogs, channels, and other media because these stories usually have something in common: whether they thought of themselves as creative or not, they recognized this ability and what they can share with the world. As I have said before, I had a lightbulb moment of recognition when I saw a Pinterest post about starting a blog written by the lovely Morgan Timm. It was as if I was seeing myself in a new light, suddenly remembering how much I used to love writing when I was younger. All of the journals, diaries, and short stories that would escape my imagination and leave imprints on the pages of my childhood. How I dreamed of becoming an author one day. All of these feelings came back in a rush, for they had been buried for so long.
I have seen a similar progression in my own creative endeavors from when I started until now. In August I will have been blogging for two years, and I find it difficult to put all that I have learned into words.
When I saw that Lilly had written a book (something I have always dreamed of doing!), I knew that I had to get a copy. I was fortunate enough to stumble across a signed copy, and could barely wait for it to arrive. It came to my campus mailbox this past Monday, and was one of the best ways to start the week. I started reading it with no preconceived notions of what to expect.
Words cannot even describe how I felt as I turned each page. It was almost as if I was hearing the echoes of my own heart. Each vivid page brought my own dream to life, and more than that it made me feel like I wasn’t alone.
To give you some background, I try to put my all into everything that I do and am quite busy as a result. I enjoy putting my best foot forward, but it hasn’t always been an easy journey.
In high school I was quite stressed. Beyond that, my life was void of the creative energy that fills every gap in my life today. I was trapped in the box that I had drawn around myself, committed to living a scholarly life that never tested my creative ability. Lilly describes her own struggle with feeling as though she wasn’t pursuing her passions, and just living a life she thought she was meant to live. Though she experienced this after college, I resonated with the idea completely. I was stuck in my own idea of what my best life was, restricting my own growth.
When I started my blog, I started to erase the box and draw lines in new directions. I journeyed into the unknown, guided by the creative voice that I had subdued for so long. Instead of critiquing all of my creative choices, I embraced them. I made mistakes, I learned, and most of all I loved. The color started to seep back into my world, and I could feel my creativity growing with each day.
Lilly took on creativity as a full-time job, and does an amazing job of balancing it all despite the criticisms that she receives. As a student blogger, it’s common for me to have my motivations questioned. My day is scheduled nearly hour by hour, and I am always reading, writing, working, and creating. There are many who don’t understand why I choose to spend this much time on creativity, but for me it can only be explained by passion. It never feels like work for me, and as I sit here right now typing in the early hours of the morning I feel surrounded by joy and positive energy.
Blogging has allowed me to embrace my true self, and erase the rigid lines I had thought were permanent. There were many creators who inspired me to take this leap, and I can only hope that I inspire others to do the same.
If you haven’t read How to Be a Bawse, I highly recommend that you grab a copy! I read it in one day, and haven’t stopped thinking about it. How have you embraced your creative self?
©2017 The Wise Willow and Alyssa DeBella. All rights reserved.
When I was younger, creativity was a natural part of my life. I loved to read, write, draw, and imagine. It was a natural extension of my true self, and how I spent much of my time. As I got older, this creativity got replaced with obligations and other interests and started to lose its second nature feeling. At the beginning of high school, I would dread “creative” projects because I felt as though I no longer had the ability to construct something with loose guidelines. This sentiment continued for quite some time, until I stumbled upon Pinterest (and eventually the world of blogging).
I started to remember my interest in creative endeavors (especially related to writing), and it felt as though I was reconnecting with something that I forgot I ever had. It has now been over a year since I started this creative journey, and took on the title of a “creative”. I have learned so much since embracing this title, especially since, for a time, I didn’t think it would apply to me.
Being a part of the creative world has taught me that everyone is creative. Creativity comes in so many forms, and there is something that everyone can contribute to. When I got older, I became more judgmental of my creative forms instead of embracing them as my own. I started comparing them to the endeavors of others, and gave many of them up because I felt as though I was not meant to pursue creative journeys. But comparison really is the thief of joy. What was once fun and relaxing turned into a stressful pursuit of hoping the final product would be something I was proud of, and something I wanted others to see. I lost my own creative touch, and instead focused too much on what I thought were mistakes. I took someone else’s pursuits and made them my ideal, instead of focusing on what I loved about what I was doing.
Blogging has taught me how to embrace and love my creative energy. I no longer strive to be like the ‘ideal,’ I only strive to be happy and to have joy. I will make clay sculptures to release tension and stress, and by embracing my energy I love the end result. Instead of extensively planning the process so that the result turns out like I think I want it to, I allow my creative imagination to take control and make spontaneous decisions. This is how I write as well. I think about what I feel inspired to write about more generally, but let my imagination and creativity take the lead. I tap into my thoughts, dreams, inspirations, and passions to create something that I truly love. This is the beauty of embracing your own creative.
I have become a huge proponent of collaboration over competition, because everyone’s creativity is different. All creativity is valuable, and when you work with others the result can be wonderful. Combining unique creative energies is a wonderful way to add to the creative world, and to learn about the thoughts, passions, and dreams of others.
I encourage you to dive right into the creative world, especially with something you have never tried before. You never know where your passions lie, and you could discover something truly life-changing. I rediscovered my love of writing through blogging, but more importantly, I rediscovered my creative joy. I’ve learned how to apply my interest in art and visuals to my graphic design elements, and I’ve used my blog as a way to explore other interests and step outside of my comfort zone.
Delving back into the world of creativity has led me to rediscover the spark that comes with creative imagination. I see the world in a different light, one full of potential and passion. If something characteristically negative happens, I think about what it has taught me and how I can portray that in writing or visuals. I think about where my true emotional energy stems from, and how I can tap into that to create projects that bring me (and hopefully others!) joy.
Creativity has yet again become second nature for me, and has found a new place in my life. I love sharing my take on the world with others, and hearing about their own pursuits and endeavors.
As I finish off my semester, I have been thinking about how creativity has provided me with a constructive and valuable release for all that I have encountered. It has helped me reframe my state of mind, turning negatives into positive learning experiences and reflections. I have learned and pursued new interests, and changed my mindset. What has creativity taught you? I’d love to hear in the comments! 🙂
©2016 The Wise Willow and Alyssa DeBella. All rights reserved.
As the year starts to near its close, I’ve been reflecting on what has had a significant impact on me in 2016. As I thought through everything that has impacted me this year, there was an underlying element that connected it all: kindness. Kindness was present in everything that has influenced me this year, and is a value that I have prioritized in my own visions.
As I have grown older, the concept of giving to others has become a large part of the values that I cherish. Giving to others fills my heart and soul with such warmth, happiness, and gratitude that I couldn’t imagine my life without it. Kindness fosters connection, and connection fosters community, and community fosters love. This year, though it has been one of the most challenging years I have experienced, has been full of love. Love from all of the connections and communities that I have made brightens all of my days.
So how did this become such a large part of my life? When I was younger, volunteer work was something that brought me immense joy. I loved to help others, and I gained many relationships from those experiences. In high school I had more difficulty bringing the kindness I cherished into my school life, and that was something that I chose to change once I came to college. I was more reserved in high school, and I didn’t portray positivity and kindness as often as I do now. If there is something that I have learned, it is that the vibes that you embody provide a glimpse into your character. Over the past year I have become more aligned with my true self, and my compassion and kindness shows with little effort in all situations.
My transition to veganism created a new sphere of kindness in my heart and mind, and brought a new community of like-minded individuals into my life. My blog gave me connections with creatives that inspire me every day. My blogging journey has been all about collaboration over competition, and I am beyond grateful for the supportive community that I have become a part of.
Though it has given me many benefits, kindness hasn’t always been the easiest path. But the communities that I have become a part of have motivated me to keep my passion for positivity and compassion a priority. As Lilly Singh (AKA Superwoman) and Humble the Poet often emphasize, promote what you love. This resonates with me, because the antithesis to kindness and compassion is negativity and enmity. Instead of reciprocating in those situations with negativity and enmity of my own, I channel gratitude and compassion. I promote what I love, and encourage others to do the same.
The quote “happy mind happy life” resonates with this practice because I have found it to be brimming with truth. As soon as you change your perspective, you change your life. If something goes wrong, my mind now searches for a positive (or a bit of humor to lighten the situation). I celebrate all of my successes and failures, the latter especially after reading an article about how a family would hold rounds of applause for their biggest failures each day. Failure is a way to grow, and when you look at it in that light you start moving in the right direction. Success and failure both lead in the same direction, though at different paces. Being kind to yourself is the first step to being kind with others. The more you love yourself, the more you can spread that love to those around you.
There will be times throughout the day where I catch myself saying “you got this,” “that was pretty impressive,” and other such phrases to myself. I have gotten in the habit of speaking as kindly to myself as I aspire to speak to others, and the results have been amazing. What was once “I can’t believe you couldn’t do that” has now become “you did the best that you could at the moment, and there are always more opportunities”. While it might not seem significant at first, being kind to yourself and celebrating your achievements changes your mindset. Positivity becomes second nature, and life gets that much brighter.
It has also helped me to deal with less than favorable circumstances. As you may know, Astrology has been a part of my life for a while now. When the planet Mercury (which is my ruling planet as a Virgo) goes into retrograde, the smallest inconveniences become frequent and magnified. For example, during a retrograde this year I was putting on one of my shoes and one of my shoelaces just managed to become completely undone and frayed in a matter of seconds before breaking to a length that couldn’t be tied. I had no explanation (and was also running late), so I grabbed my scissors, trimmed the lace to a workable shape, and tied it in a makeshift knot that would stay put for the time being. I laughed the entire time, wondering how it was possible for my perfectly functional and relatively new shoelace to seemingly combust in a matter of seconds. Instead of worrying about being more late, I found the humor and still remember it as a positive experience to this day.
Kindness to myself and others, as well as the pursuit of positivity, have made my life one I enjoy living. There are ups and downs, but more often than not I am happy and ready to handle what is thrown my way. As Cinderella states, we must always stay humble and kind, mustn’t we?
©2016 The Wise Willow and Alyssa DeBella. All rights reserved.
Last weekend I found myself on Pinterest, as I often do, and came across a pin about ThredUp. I had seen pins about this company before, but had never ventured to the site to see it for myself. So on a chilly winter evening I found myself relaxing and perusing the site with no idea what I would find. What I found was simply amazing.
I started by looking in the Juniors section of the website, which has an extensive selection of tops, jeans, dresses, sweaters, and more. I am always hesitant when buying clothes online (since I never know how they are going to fit or how they are going to look), but I decided to take the plunge.
Recently I have been shifting to a minimalist lifestyle, and one of those aspects is recycling clothes and only owning what I use on a regular basis. As I was looking on the site, I perused the clothes, checked sizes, and browsed their ‘basement’ section for clothes that are a little more worn.
I ended up picking out six items of clothing: a pink dress with a lace pattern (that I am going to wear to my Winter Waltz this Saturday!), two pairs of overall shorts (I have seen these on Pinterest for years and finally took the plunge and bought some! I have been loving them so far!), a t shirt with a quote from The Fault in Our Stars, a grey patterned sweater (which is super warm), and a floral lace skirt.
The box arrived in the mail a few days later, and I brought it back to my dorm room in excited anticipation. As I opened it, I was greeted with colorful tissue paper and the cutest sticker to top it off! I took the clothes out of the tissue paper, and to my surprise there were adorable tags on each item of clothing which would make them perfect gifts! (Or in my case, perfect gifts to myself haha!).
Let’s start with the dress. I am drawn to pink lace dresses (I have a lovely one from Maurices that I wore under my high school graduation gown), and as soon as I saw this one I knew I wanted to give it a try. It’s even more beautiful in person! It is a darker pink color than my other one, making it a good winter dress to pair with leggings, boots, and a cardigan for extra warmth. It fits perfectly and looks brand new! I’m excited to wear it to my Winter Waltz dance this Saturday!
Now to the overalls: I have always wanted at least one pair for the longest time (take a look at my Fashion and Style board on Pinterest and you will see this fact) and found two pairs that I wanted to give a try! The first is a lighter washed out denim, with the full overall style. These fit perfectly, and aren’t hard to take on and off. I tried them on with leggings underneath, black booties, and both a short sleeve shirt and a warmer sweater. I loved all of the combinations!
The second pair I got have a darker denim wash with buttons in the front, and just the straps instead of the full front piece. These fit perfectly too, and are great with leggings and a short sleeve shirt! I am very happy that I now have two pairs to call my own, especially since I’ve been pinning countless overall fashion combinations on Pinterest for years!
The sweater I got (which I am currently wearing because it is very soft and great for staying warm!) is a light grey with a woven design. The sleeves are a shorter style, and more loose than most sweaters I own. It is perfect for work attire when paired with black work pants and boots, but can also be made more casual with patterned leggings. It fits perfectly and is my favorite sweater that I own at the moment!
I don’t usually wear skirts, but this one managed to catch my eye. It is a floral lace pattern with lots of ruffles, and is perfect for dressier outfits (and it wears quite well with the grey sweater)! This also fits perfectly, and is very comfortable and in great condition.
Finally, the shirt I bought has one of my favorite quotes on it: “My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations” (The Fault in Our Stars by John Green). It was in the ‘basement’ section of the site, and was only $2.50!
One of the things I haven’t mentioned thus far is how reasonable this purchase was. ThredUp had a 40% off sale for the holidays, and as such I paid $25 for all six items of clothing (including shipping)! I couldn’t be happier with my purchase, and I know that I will never buy clothes anywhere else.
In addition, I found that I had some clothes in my closet and drawers that I hadn’t worn all semester. I knew that they would be better in someone else’s hands, so I requested a free Clean-Out kit from ThredUp. I received the kit today, which includes a postage paid bag to put the clothes in. After filling the bag with clothing, you simply seal it, mail it off, and can opt to donate the clothes or receive credit (store credit or PayPal credit)! I feel so much better that I am actually wearing the clothes I own, and I know that someone else might find something they love in the clothes I sent back just like I found clothes I loved from what others sent in!
I highly recommend ThredUp to anyone looking for new clothes for amazing prices and quality! I hope that you enjoyed hearing about my experience, and let me know if you end up buying clothing items from them! Tag me on Twitter or Instagram with your OOTDs!
If you do want to purchase from the site, you can use the following link and you’ll get $10 off!
©2016 The Wise Willow and Alyssa DeBella. All rights reserved.
This post is not sponsored, and all thoughts are my own.
As I sit here on a chilly November night, my heart is filled with so much gratitude for how far I’ve come over the past year. The list of what I am thankful for could go on for pages and pages, possibly even hours! I wanted to post about Thanksgiving and gratitude this week, because it is something that has had a profound impact on my life within the past year. I hope you enjoy reading about my joys and my gratitude journey, and I would love to hear what yours have been this year!
Over the summer I had the opportunity to experience what it is like to support myself, work consistent hours, and plan life as an adult. I am so grateful for this experience, because it allowed me to grow more comfortable with managing my own life after one year of college. It made for a unique and amazing experience, and I got to spend time with amazing people and go to breathtaking places. I’m grateful for all of the people I met, all of my friends I got to reconnect with, the support of my family, and all of the amazing adventures that I had (even the ones that challenged my adulting skills!).
This year at college has given me a lot to be grateful for. To start, I am grateful for my room. It is my sanctuary, and a space where I can go when life gets busy. I am also grateful for my bed, especially since it has two layers of mattress toppers which is one of the best things after a long day! I am grateful for the community that I have made at college, both on and off campus. And yes, I am grateful for the struggle I had to go through to get here. My gratitude extends to experiences both positive and negative, because they have all taught me important lessons about life.
I am grateful for my blog. It has given me a way to explore my passion for writing, and to share my thoughts with the world. The community that I have connected with has supported me when my creative energy is running low, and has been there to celebrate my successes. I am grateful beyond words for you, my readers, because without you I wouldn’t have rediscovered my passion for writing and connecting with others. You have been here through my blogging journey, and I feel honored to continue this journey with you. 🙂
I came up with a list of all of the things that I have been thankful for over the course of 2016, though I am probably forgetting a few things! Gratitude journals have been a positive aspect of my life for the past year and a half, and are a way for me to end each day with joy.
Things I have been grateful for in 2016:
I hope you enjoyed this week’s post, and if you are in the U.S. I hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving! What have you been thankful for in 2016? Let me know in the comments!
© The Wise Willow and Alyssa DeBella. All rights reserved.
We’ve all been there: feeling as though our day is moving in slow motion, desperately wanting to get everything done but feeling as though you don’t know where to start. Before you know it, you’ve started four different tasks to no avail, and feel even more scattered than you were before. You search for inspiration, but it’s nowhere to be found. What do you do now?
As a very meticulous person, these days are a nightmare. I fight against the lack of motivation and inspiration, but without fail end up giving in. However, I’ve recently found few ways to maximize my time and energy, and rekindle my inspiration.
Light Changes and Winter Weather
As someone who loves the sunlight, the transition to winter can be rough. Instead of waking up to sunlight streaming through the window, I am greeted by darkness and cold. The wintertime can be a wondrous season, but adjusting to the time difference does a number on my motivation.
To adjust to this lack of light I will turn my fairy lights on first thing in the morning, and allow myself to wake up as naturally as possible. I also have a morning playlist on Spotify that I use to motivate myself, and remind myself of all that is possible. Before changing into my clothes for the day, I will put on a pair of warm fuzzy socks and catch up on emails, social media, and news while I eat breakfast.
Workspaces and Home
I am one of those people who needs to have a decluttered space in order to have a decluttered mind. If my room is chaotic, my mind will be reeling and wondering where to start! My room is my sanctuary, and a place of peace and mindfulness during the chaos of the semester. However, like many of us I’m sure, disarray can set in during busy weeks. Dishes pile up, food gets eaten, and papers end up all over the place. Today I got caught up on all of my chores, and my inspiration was boosted tenfold! I washed all of my dishes (while listening to my favorite playlist of course!), did my laundry, dusted around the room, and swept the floor. I also went shopping at my local store. Stocking up on healthy energizers (the honey wheat pretzels I am currently eating are amazing) made all of the difference!
Have you ever found that during a certain time in the year or school semester it gets hard to focus on one thing for a long period of time? In high school I was convinced that once you started something, you had to finish it. If I still used that model I would definitely not succeed in my endeavors.
As part of my transition to college I had to learn that splitting tasks into smaller sections is a valuable time management strategy. For example, I will choose what subject I feel most motivated to do and start with it. The moment I am staring but not engaging, I will switch to the next thing. Sometimes, this means that I listen to podcasts and switch my active listening between the task at hand and the podcast. I have been loving quite a few podcasts lately! My favorite one so far has been The Accidental Creative. As a blogger I am always looking for new strategies and advice from others, and listening to these segments in the background has kept me inspired!
I’ve been able to use odd hours here and there to finish emails, write blog posts, do reading homework, write papers, and any other tasks I feel motivated to do. I’ve reconnected with my inspiration by actively choosing my focus points, and have felt much more accomplished and excited about the projects I’m working on! 🙂
As much as I love being productive, I know that there are limitations to how much I can do before I lose my focus. Taking intentional breaks is a great way to revisit your plans, connect with others, and take time to be in the world. As you have probably gathered, I like coffee a bit too much. I’ll admit it’s definitely one of my vices, but is so good!! On the weekends I love to spend time at the local coffee shop (soy milk mochas are one of the best things) and spend time in the moment. Unwinding after a stressful week is always one of my top priorities, and coffee shops are the perfect place to do just that!
I’ve also been reading more books from the local library, which has been a great way to unwind before bed. I’ve read some great books lately, and hope to do a few reviews since I haven’t done one in quite a while!
The Accidental Creative and Closing Loops
This podcast has quickly become one of my favorites, and has provided me with the inspiration I’ve needed this week! In one of its recent episodes, they talked about two ways of generating inspiration. I’ve never tried these approaches, but think they would be great for reengaging with our inspirations!
The first is to “end with the beginning in mind”. This means that you should always end a task with an idea of exactly how you’re going to resume when you return to it later. This gives you direction, and grounds you in your goals. The second is to close loops of non-action. This was quite intriguing to me because I’m quite guilty of doing this! The podcast states that accumulating non-actions inhibit our ability to focus. As such, small bits of time should be used to close as many of these incomplete loops as possible. Send that email, respond to that comment, get caught up on your chores. Closing loops gives us a sense of accomplishment, and sparks inspiration to continue on this path.
This week has been a challenging one for me in terms of finding my inspiration, but all of these techniques have encouraged me to keep going and rekindle my inspiration. What do you do when you lack inspiration? Let me know in the comments! 🙂
©2016 The Wise Willow and Alyssa DeBella. All rights reserved.
In my recent posts I’ve been reflecting on where I’m at in my life, and I came to the realization that dreams have been essential to my journey thus far. Dreams and aspirations are something that we encourage young people to develop, but this encouragement stops once you reach a certain age. Upon entering high school, life becomes more about meeting benchmarks and keeping up with the crowd and less about working toward the future that you want to have.
After graduating from high school, my dreams for my future were rekindled as I entered the unknown world of college. That familiar rush of excitement that was lost for a few years came flooding back, and thoughts about all of the possibilities that were ahead of me filled my mind.
The other day as I was enjoying a few moments of self-reflection, I realized what role dreams have played in my everyday life. On those days where I dread getting out of my warm and soft bed to face the long hours ahead, dreams have motivated me to get up and face the day with a smile. When it feels as though I am working nonstop, dreams motivate me to try harder and find the blessings in my tasks. When I start to lose sight of the bigger picture, dreams refocus that lens and allow me to see the purpose of what I’m working towards.
My dreams for my future also give me insight into my subconscious desires. My dream for owning as little as possible and filling my life with human connection illuminated my desire for a simple life. My dream for living in a country different from my own revealed my desire to leave my comfort zone and what is known, and embrace different cultures and experiences.
Dreams allow you to strive for the future that you want to create for yourself, and to stay focused and intentional on your journey. Throughout my life my dreams have changed according to my experiences, but their existence has always motivated me to be the best that I can be. When high school classes and extracurriculars were overwhelming, my dreams gave me the motivation to continue and follow the path to college. Now that I am in college, my dreams for my future inspire me to take the path less traveled and be open to all opportunities that cross my path.
Recently I have taken up nightly journaling again, a practice that went by the wayside in the past year. Part of this reflection includes writing down my dreams and aspirations, whether they’re for the week, month, or year. For example, my aspiration for this week was intentionality (selectively choosing what activities to engage in based upon my emotional energy), and my dream for the year is to live a fulfilling life that encourages me to follow my passions and live simply so that others may simply live. I write these in my planner to remind me of what is yet to come, and often find myself looking back at them for inspiration throughout the week.
Though this year has been the busiest of my life, I am loving every moment as I work towards my dreams 🙂 What are your dreams for the future? How have your dreams helped you get to where you are today?
©2016 The Wise Willow and Alyssa DeBella. All rights reserved.
Sunlight streams in through my window as I listen to the chirps of small birds in the morning breeze. The clock reads 7am, and though it’s early I’m refreshed and ready to start my day. As I go through my morning routine (brewing coffee and making breakfast), my mind reels with all that I want to get accomplished that day. I sit down to eat and check in with the news, social media feeds, emails, and my to-do lists. A sense of serenity fills the air as I plan for my day. It’s second nature for me to reflect on my experiences, and many of my most imploring thoughts come during these morning hours.
Recently I’ve been inspired to think about my life journey and path. My 20th birthday is coming up on the 19th (I can hardly believe it!), and I feel as though the 18 year-old I was not too long ago is very different from the almost-20-year-old I am today. I entered college with an undeveloped sense of self and a vague path. I knew what interested me, but I didn’t know how to get there. I felt overwhelmed by the enormous world around me, and did what I could to navigate the unchartered ocean of adult life.
All of my experiences taught me something about myself that forged a path for my new life journey. My passion for Religious Studies was realized, and I was able to declare my major of study enthusiastically. With each step in this new direction came new opportunities and adventures. There are many sayings that revolve around the mantra of ‘choosing your direction,’ and these words of wisdom guide how I live my daily life.
As many of you have seen, my blog has grown with my life. Over the summer I started a vegan lifestyle, which has become a large part of my daily life. I got a nose piercing to reflect my authentic self and my journey into my second decade of life. I started daily meditation and yoga practices to clear my mind of negativity and take care of my body. I’ve also invested in natural skin care and foods to nourish my mind and body, and I finally feel aligned with my true self. I’ve been able to connect with many inspiring bloggers, creators, entrepreneurs, adventurers, and friends along this journey, and have learned more about myself through their inspirational experiences.
But the journey hasn’t always been easy. Mila Bron has a wonderful mantra that sums up how I now feel about this journey that I’ve been on: “I am learning to trust the journey, even when I do not understand it”. There were many aspects of my journey that I didn’t understand. Why didn’t I love what I thought I wanted to study? Why does it feel as though nothing is working out like it should? How am I supposed to learn how to navigate the complexities of adult life?
There were many things that I didn’t understand, but looking back on them has made me realize that I wouldn’t be where I am without these learning experiences. I would have never found my love for Religious Studies and Peace and Conflict Studies had I not taken a primarily upper-class course my first semester of college. I would have never realized the importance of taking care of my mind and body without reaching out for help, and taking the plunge to change my diet and lifestyle habits. I would have never rekindled my love of writing and connecting with the world had I not taken the chance to put myself out there and share my voice with the world. I would have never realized how wonderful life truly is had I not focused on integrating positivity into my daily life. I learned all of these things through trial and error, and though the journey was rough at times and confusing at others, I ended up right where I’m supposed to be.
I walk around campus taking in the colors of the tree leaves, the sky and the clouds, and all of the things that I have to be grateful for. I’ve embraced a lifestyle of simple living, which has allowed me to focus on what matters most. Most importantly of all, I spend every day living my journey and I’ve found my path. I encourage you to reflect on your journey, and know that many adventures and opportunities await. Though the journey may not always be easy or clear, you will end up right where you’re meant to be. 🙂
©2016 The Wise Willow and Alyssa DeBella. All rights reserved.
If you had asked me a few years ago how I handled my problems, I would tell you that I would hold them in or ignore them until they couldn’t be ignored anymore. To me, this was a normalized routine in which I felt okay until it was too much. It was through this approach that I found astrology and numerology, and consequently a new lifestyle.
Many of my problems felt as though they came out of left field, and for this reason I turned to horoscopes as a way to prepare myself for potentially challenging situations. While some argue that horoscopes can lead to a placebo effect of negativity, I’ve never found this to be the case. The key is not seeing horoscopes as predictions of the future, but rather as advice for situations you may encounter. There are many times where horoscopes have been uncannily accurate, and other times where I never lived out their situations. However, they have allowed me to feel more secure in my actions as each day comes. The horoscope site that I use most frequently is Astrostyle.com. This website has daily, weekly, and monthly horoscopes as well as numerology references and other pertinent information. Their writing style is witty and informational, and checking their horoscopes has become one of my favorite daily routines.
As I became more comfortable with horoscopes and astrology, I started to look into tarot with the guidance of one of my amazing family friends. Tarot cards allow you to ask about life situations on your own time and get advice from your spiritual guides. These cards come in many styles and formats, and one of my favorite artists is Doreen Virtue. I currently have her Dolphins and Mermaids tarot deck, as well as her Ascended Masters deck (which I bought on Friday!). These have helped me to feel more secure during times of uncertainty, and their breathtaking artwork brings me peace in times of chaos.
Contrary to popular belief, anyone can buy a tarot card deck and use it effectively (even without any astrology or numerology experience!). All you have to do is concentrate on your energy (how you are feeling in that moment, and what is on your mind the most). Then you must clear out the energy from the cards by knocking on them with your knuckles and waving the energy away (I like to close my eyes and envision golden light leaving the deck). Now you are ready to ask your question. Shuffle the cards until you feel as though you no longer need to, and select your cards. I usually select three cards, and do this by looking at the cards and selecting the three that appeal the most to me. There is no incorrect way to do this. Something is driving you to these cards over others, even if you feel as though nothing is happening or that you are picking them randomly. You can also pick the top three cards off of the deck after shuffling, or any variation of card selection. Do what feels right to you. When you start out, it is most helpful to take the included guidebook and read over the detailed explanations for every card that you draw. This helps to familiarize you with their meanings, and after a while you won’t need to look at this guidebook anymore.
Another area of numerology that I have explored is that of crystals. I have always loved the visual appeal of crystals, and after learning about their healing properties I have started a collection. Each type of crystal has its own energy, and can be used during certain situations. For example, rose quartz is the stone of unconditional love. This can be love of self, family, and others. This stone supports you in times of need for self-love and respect, or when you need guidance in your relationships with others. Blue Lace Agate, as another example, enhances your communication skills and willingness to take risks without being overcome with nerves or anxiety. Energymuse.com has a wonderful reference guide if you are interested in getting crystals of your own! I place mine by my pillow at night, but sometimes will hold them when reading or watching a movie.
I’ve also learned about the numerology behind my birthdate and personality linkages. Numerology deals with life-path numbers as a way to explore potential paths for exploration that are well-suited for you. Numerology involves many calculations (of your life-path number, daily number, etc.) but there are many websites that can do this for you. I often refer to tokenrock.com for all of my numerology questions. I have a life-path number of 8, which designates me as a natural leader. While these numbers have many assumptions behind their calculations, aspects of them often prove true for everyone.
Astrology and numerology have enhanced my life is more ways than I ever thought possible. Part of my daily routine includes checking up on my daily and weekly horoscopes, numerology numbers, and tarot cards. I have more confidence in my abilities and in my struggles, and have been able to address problems at their core instead of waiting for them to overwhelm me.
If you have any interest in astrology or numerology, I highly recommend that you give it a try! If you still have questions, or want to know more about any of these practices feel free to leave a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org! 🙂
© The Wise Willow and Alyssa DeBella. All rights reserved.