by Jenny Leigh Hodgins
I had a great discussion (via the Zoom conferencing app) with friends recently that encouraged me. They reminded me that if I want to change my environment, I must first change my heart.
This year has challenged the best of us; pandemic restrictions and their toll on wellness, our nation’s clear divisiveness, and the economic and physical suffering for our entire planet have brought the reality of our shared troubles in this world front and center.
My discussion with friends illuminated my need for pausing to uncover what this situation is teaching me and how it can serve me to change something in my life, my perspective, and my actions. Taking responsibility is a strong catalyst for making things go more smoothly and improving or finding meaning in a problem.
We shared how our daily rhythm with self-care and personal growth efforts help us see solutions more readily when facing turmoil.
Our world mirrors us. It’s sending a clear signal we need more effort toward growing ourselves, overcoming our negative impulses, and taking care of our mind, body, and spirit. Taking care of ourselves allows us to be better for those we care about and build peaceful, prosperous communities.
A GOOD ENDING LEADS TO A GOOD START
How we end things this year will lead to what kind of start we’ll have in the new year. We cannot avoid the sufferings of our world. Burying our hearts and trying to ignore or deny the fierceness of our collective challenges creates nothing.
But we can make the causes for future victory and look forward to the new season of spring by facing ourselves and our challenges with courage and compassion. Doing this with perseverance brings hope into our hearts.
BEGIN WITH A SMALL SHIFT
It can happen with a seemingly small, insignificant shift in our hearts.
Facing relationship issues or communication problems?
Redirecting my heart toward finding an outcome best for everyone—can help move the dialogue in a more positive direction. When we strive to put aside our ego and our feelings for the greater good, a miracle happens: we create a bridge!
LOOK FOR A NEW WAY
In this weird holiday season when many of us are unable to hug our loved ones, especially heart-wrenching for our elders, those grieving a loss, and those struck with Covid-19, we’re given a beautiful opportunity to find the value and potential in this situation.
Creative solutions arise from limitations and even problems. Humans are innately creative. This skill or process is not reserved exclusively for artists. We each have the power within us to look outside the box to find a new way or a new perspective for this unique moment in history. This practice of gratitude lifts the heavy heart and brings its own reward.
When we can’t see eye to eye with someone, for example, we have the chance to look for the best in that person as valuable and good, instead of equating the worth of that person with their behavior in the moment or argument.
Difficulties—again—are mirroring exactly that we need to change something in our lives for the better. And to use them as a springboard with that intent.
REMEMBER THE KEY TO VICTORY
The point is that you and I can transform anything. Don’t get discouraged by this year’s depth of problems for us and the rest of the world. Instead, remember that how we face each moment right now becomes the cause for the seeds of our bright future.
Remember that the key to any struggle is perseverance. Let’s look to the new year of 2021 by first taking care of our spiritual wellness. Then, let’s set new goals and move forward toward our new victory.
Transforming our hearts first will lead us to improve ourselves, the situation, and encourage those around us to find hope. Our ability to win over our struggles becomes our mission for empowering others to do the same.
During this pandemic holiday season, I will be taking care of myself including mind, body, and soul. I'll be planning for the 2021 new year.
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to you.
This week, some of my group members gave video presentations about grief support during the holidays. Click here to join the group and see these comforting tips.
by Jenny Leigh Hodgins
My podcast (check it out here) and blogs sometimes feature various creators about their creative process. Like many creators, I feel creativity is as natural to me as breathing air. I cannot live without it.
As a creative person, in sync with my brand's overall theme of nurturing creativity and inspiration, I'd like to personally share something from my creative side with you.
In interviews, I often ask creators what inspires them. Here's something that inspires me.
This reminds me of The Wizard Of Oz behind the curtain, furiously spinning those wheels to keep things afloat. But honestly, if you pull back the curtain on me, you'll find me most naturally immersed in writing words or music, or doing something visual with nature photos as a way of daily creative expression.
Today, I'd like to share one of my poems with you. Through my poem below, I share some of my personal inspirations; my Buddhist practice, and my mentor in faith--writer, poet, peace leader Daisaku Ikeda. Ikeda's writings have and continue to be an enormous source of encouragement for my life and my creative flow.
I wrote the following poem as a kind of appreciative reply to my mentor's incredibly wise, compassionate, generous guidance.
In the poem I share here, I refer to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. This is about my battle against my weakness and toward bettering myself as a more compassionate, stronger human.
As a practicing SGI Buddhist* for 34 years, the concept of 'human revolution' is part of my daily practice. It equates with a polishing of the self toward becoming the best person I can be.
This poem expresses the process of and responsibility for developing the Greater Self. Most specifically in regard to fighting against negative tendencies, and toward deepening faith in both myself and the good in others. Especially when it's hard to do so.
Thanks for letting me share with you in this personal way. I hope you enjoy my poem:
Listen to the podcast here.
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Let me know what you think below by leaving a comment, or ask me a question! Thanks for joining me here today!
Between those struck by the pandemic (including some of my family members!), the political news, the protests, and the stark divide in our country around deeply rooted racism, life has gotten intense and stressful for most of us.
I've been listening and absorbing, aiming to educate myself and, honestly, taking a deep dive into self-care.
I believe and have experienced that the power of an individual's determined intent can become as influential as the power of 10,000. But we must start within ourselves first. This is how nurturing creativity and living an inspired life can impact the world. Being creative isn't just about expressing yourself and doodling for fun.
It's about getting in touch with your humanity, once you dig deeper than the muck or darkness--that we all have--and pulling out your Greater Self to face the challenges of our world.
Let's make the world a better place by starting with ourselves. Let's battle through our own weakness through practicing positive mindset and affirmations.
Here's a positive affirmation I created for one of my original nature product designs that I look at every single day:
"Your view of yourself will follow the lead of your courageous action."
Sometimes I don't feel courageous or hopeful. But by taking positive action, I train myself to be positive and proactive. I win over myself through action.
I cannot change others. I can only work on myself and my personal contribution to make the world a little better from my own little corner of it.
I've been creating Facebook Live video messages to clarify what YourCreativeChord offers, as a source for inspiration and hope, and to feature my nature-inspired products.
Click here to see my video taking you behind the scenes in my workspace to show how I keep myself strong and positive in the face of struggle and historic turmoil.
Click here to join me in my morning routine and to learn why what I do impacts not only my wellness, but how I show up in the world.
I've also been posting Live videos in my new Facebook Creative Memorial Planning Group about alternatives to traditional funeral planning. If you want to learn more about how to prepare a meaningful, earth-friendly, cost-reducing, personalized memorial with less or zero religious or funeral business involvement, you can join my group here.
Living an inspired and victorious life leads to a victorious death. The Buddhist teacher, Nichiren, taught that to understand life, one must understand death.
This theme underlies my personal mission to share creative memorial planning options through my Facebook group, webinar, ebook, and through one on one consultations.
I feel my services and education about these creative memorial options are especially relevant during this historically challenging time of the 2020 pandemic, economic situation, and the protests aimed at transforming deeply rooted racism.
I've been proactively taking my business online, especially with Facebook, so if you want to connect with me there, you can click here.
I hope you're encouraged and emboldened by this message and from watching my Facebook Live video. May my messages inspire you to keep taking care of yourself.
This is how you'll forge your inner strength and the deep conviction that each action you take to polish your life becomes a meaningful and necessary addition to the ocean of our collective humanity.
Stay strong and stay well and follow the lead of your courageous action.
Jenny Leigh Hodgins 🎶💃🌻
By Jenny Leigh Hodgins
Nurturing creativity and triggering inspiration often comes straight from interaction with other creative people. Seeking out these relationships is a common practice for successful creators. Listening to the story behind an artiste’s creative process, or watching their specific technique for an artwork can open up new neurological pathways for your own innovative thinking. This is where much creative spark begins.
It may seem counterintuitive for introverted creators like myself, who thrive in solitary work routines. But seeking out and learning from other creative people is an incredible boost to fresh inspiration.
Hence, I look for opportunities for creative collaboration. That’s why I love interviewing creative people for YourCreativeChord podcasts and blogs. I’ve spoken with creators from all over the world, thanks to the miracle of digital technology.
Positive Creative Community in a Local Shop
I believe it’s important to also support connections locally, and I’ve gratefully found a wonderful collaboration with a local shop and its owner in downtown Frankfort, Kentucky. Belinda Davis-Lesniak’s flavorful shop is a boon to downtown Frankfort, adding a robustly diverse retail experience with energetic and upbeat character.
For those who are far away from my home state of Kentucky, have no fear; this wonderful shop is easily accessed online, too. I also highly encourage a visit to this ‘hidden gem’ of a city, with its geographical position next to the beautiful Kentucky River, and uniquely characteristic limestone and Italianate architecture dating back to the late 1800s.
Welcome To My Exclusive Home For Inspiration!
I’ve chosen this local small business to exclusively host my 2020 inspiring nature photo calendars. Additional products will soon include notecards, posters, puzzles, playing cards, kitchen towels, T-shirts, sketch- and notebooks. All my products feature the beauty of nature with self-care themes for nurturing creativity.
I selected this shop because of the intersection of our mutual branding about fostering positivity, inspiration, harmonious living, nature love, spiritual wellness and self-care. It’s a wonderful fit for my upcoming nature photo designs and new products.
I’m so excited to introduce and offer a bit of behind the scenes insight into this beautiful shop and its lovely, warm-hearted owner, Belinda Davis-Lesniak.
Infusing A New Spirit
With Connection & Compassion
In sync with Downtown Frankfort, Inc’s vision and website slogan, “there’s a new spirit infusing downtown Frankfort,” Kentucky, I felt it for myself in Davis-Lesniak’s welcoming shop at 234 West Main Street (Frankfort, KY 40601), “where new age meets Bohemian with a wanderlust flair.”
I popped in to meet the owner, for what I expected to be a short visit to see her store, Wicked Glass & Wanderlust Designs. Two and a half hours later, I reluctantly gathered myself and my mother for the short drive back to Lexington.
This woman business owner is an incredible inspiration, oozing friendly vibes and opening her heart in conversation to a depth that instantly makes you feel you’ve been friends for many lifetimes. She has a spirit of compassion and creativity that resonated immediately with me (and my mother). The size of her heart was evident as she showed us the stray kitten in a box she had just rescued from the streets.
Her newly opened Frankfort shop is a smorgasbord of spiritually positive products and experiences ranging from native American Indian photography, to metaphysical philosophy books, crystals, tarot cards, pagan, Buddhist and holistic nature-revering practices, to self-care offerings of massage and Reiki treatments, and even Tea Leaf and Tarot readings, ‘Make and Take Earring’ workshops, and guided shamanic journey adventures.
There’s also Alchemy of England jewelry, ‘alternative,’ handcrafted designs from Leicestershire, England, and sterling silver gemstone jewelry. For the Bohemian flair, there are handbags, dreamcatchers, musical percussion instruments (hand drums, thunder makers, rainsticks, egg shakers, and African thumb pianos) and windchimes.
Her shop is a haven for self-care products, including essential oils, handcrafted candles, incense, soaps, uplifting books, notecards, banners, window stickers and a range of calendars.
What I especially love is that local artists’ works, including painting and photography (and my new 2020 calendars) are uniquely featured, infusing the store with an air of vibrant inspiration. The owner’s creative energy enlivened our visit as she shared like a flowing fountain, her ideas to expand the shop’s back section into an area for community workshops, and a way to feature a local artist with a commissioned ceiling mural.
Downtown Frankfort renovations are underway to draw more local artists and business owners to provide a boon of attraction for locals and tourists. Davis-Lesniak’s new, colorful store is a perfect addition to fit this downtown vision.
Click here to learn more about Wicked Glass & Wanderlust Designs, FIND THE SHOP on Facebook, or call 859-693-4426.
CLICK HERE TO FIND MORE upcoming Wicked Glass & Wanderlust Designs' events.
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LEARNING TO BE CREATIVE
How To Open Your Heart To Find Beauty Within Suffering & Loss
Belief In Your Own Creative Vision
Keep Looking For Moments Like These To Celebrate & Appreciate
How To Use Nature To Reinvigorate Your Spirit
How To Maintain Body Mind Balance As Fuel For Your Creativity
5 Ways To Use Music & Nature For Self-Care
Believing In The Positive
How I Created The Ocean With Music
Find YourCreativeChord on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedinand Facebook!
COMING SOON: Watch this space for new ebooks, products and courses for nurturing creativity and inspiration!
In my INSPIRATION blogs, you’ll find ways to overcome obstacles, reach goals, and experience more joy in the moment with spiritual awareness and inner transformation.