This time of year makes me think of picnics and barbecues, and school vacation.
7 WAYS TO EVOKE SUMMER CAMP FUN:
Bring a soft friend.
Flabu the pygmypuff lives on my pencil case, attached by keyring.
Have a library lending spree.
Having fun isn’t hard when you’ve got a library card!
Make a mess.
Reframe a mess as a masterpiece, a relic of fun.
(I label the coffee stains when I spill on my notebooks).
Use washi tape
…when you would usually use clear scotch tape. I own only washi tape actually.
Change your wallpaper
…to something that makes you smile, like a puppy or a 90s cartoon
Doodle and scribble
Take notes in a non-linear fashion for a change.
Wear a sticker
…on your clothing, just for fun!
…is this month’s theme in Everyday Wonderland.
I am pleased to inform you that the gates to Everyday Wonderland are now open ✨
You’re invited to join my weekly accountability club for finding magic where you already are, away from screens.
Everyday Wonderland is a celebration of the adventures awaiting us in our daily lives. The difference between living like a wizard vs a muggle is how we choose to interpret our surroundings.
You see, even wizards have homework.
Harry and his friends live a semblance of a normal life I could relate to, but dressed up in a castle with magic spells. They still had essays to write, but on parchment with quill pens.
We live under the illusion that adventure will show up and whisk us away one day. Why wait for that day, when you can invite adventure into your daily life now?
Everyday Wonderland is the fundamental stage of heroine training: training your mind to believe that you do have time, you can have adventures, and your are the protagonist of your story. You can start this very minute.
P.S. This month’s theme is fun. The gates are open for four days only.
I’ve been dealing with something very upsetting to me.
It’s tangled up in personal, artistic, and professional pain. I’ll fill you in when I’m certain of what I have to say. For now, I’ll share how I’ve been processing it.
After too many meals trying not to bother Steve with the same question – what do I do?, I suggested that we go out for breakfast to air out the stress and problem-solve this once and for all.
Steve sipped hot chocolate while I cracked open a notebook and listed out all the problems. Three categories emerged. I presented him the list:
- It hurts.
- I don’t know what to say about it yet.
- I don’t what the consequences of speaking up are.
‘Is this in order?’ He asked, ‘Because I think it should be’.
In the mess of emotions and possible actions, I was telling myself that taking action would make me feel better.
I was sort of acknowledging my feelings, but in a ‘yeah yeah’ kind of way. I was trying to distract myself from the pain, with the illusion that doing something would make it go away.
Here is the truth though: Distracting myself from the hurt never lasts long term.
I get frustrated with my feelings, to the tune of ‘I Don’t Do Sadness’ from Spring Awakening, in which Moritz feels too busy and too pressured to experience sadness. I’ve taught myself – and I keep teaching myself – that feelings are productive. I don’t believe in multitasking, certainly not after seeing Doctor Strange. I wouldn’t text and drive, so I shouldn’t process feelings and work on solutions at the same time either.
When I put action steps on hold, I can sit in how the problem feels. This pause teaches me about what I’m facing. When I give emotions the space they need, they pass more quickly than if I were to carry them around while doing other things. Suppressing emotion takes effort. Distracting myself from sadness while taking action is a waste of energy.
My aim is not to banish sadness, but to learn how to work with her.
This indeed is the premise of Pixar’s Inside Out. In the beginning, the personified group of emotions don’t understand Sadness’s purpose. They expend energy trying to shut her down instead of listening to her.
By the end of the film we learn that we’re better off having Sadness contribute to the team. I’m still learning how to communicate with my Sadness, how to give her attention to share her wisdom. Imagining her in glasses and a cosy, animated sweater does help.
It’s hard to pause.
It’s hard to unlearn the belief that doing things will make the bad feelings go away. Inaction makes me antsy. I’m learning to recognise that obstacles large and small will keep coming, and if I’m mindful about facing them, next time I will be slightly more prepared.
If we accept that life is a series of obstacles, why not see it as an obstacle course? We long for adventure, and life is presenting us with our own dragons to fight, dressed up in muggle clothes. Learning how to work through each obstacle will not make them go away forever. But if we use all the tools we have, Sadness included, we’ll be ready to face them more elegantly.
P.S. If you would like to learn more about turning obstacles into mini adventures, join me this Thursday for my masterclass, ‘What Would a Heroine Do?’. RSVP at heroinetraining.com/rsvp (it’s free).
I’ve been reading about how Saturn is in retrograde. Old challenges are resurfacing, and it’s hard, but the purpose is to make sure we’ve learned from them.
I take comfort in astrology as validation for my experience – that I’m not the only one feeling this way. These challenges have meaning: they are part of my heroine’s journey. They are opportunities to grow, as long as I choose to see them that way.
Thank you to Julie Everett for introducing me to the complexity of astrology (hire her to read your natal chart!), and to Lee Coleman’s article on Astrology.com detailing how Saturn Retrograde affects each sign.