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.
If you enjoyed this post, please show your love with a LIKE, or by sharing this blog with others.
Let me know what you think below by leaving a comment, or ask me a question! Thanks for joining me here today!
by Jenny Leigh Hodgins
I listened to Mel Robbins’ Work It Out on Audible. I’d never heard of her books until a woman entrepreneur I interviewed mentioned her as a mentor. So I checked out her content. I’m hooked.
What I Loved About The Book
I loved the author’s style. I wonder if I’d like it as well if I’d read the book versus listening to it. But I rarely sit still long enough to read a book. I’m always digitally researching and as an online solopreneur, my task list is never-ending.
So, I listen to books on Audible while doing errands, exercising, and before bed. I loved Mel Robbins’ style because she matches my pace where I am. Her book contains no fluff. She gets straight into giving valuable content and then she spells it out for you at the end of each chapter in case you missed the key points.
There’s No Fluff—Robbins Gets To The Point Without Wasting Your Time
I loved her quick pacing, her blatant way of calling us women out on habits that don’t serve us or anyone else (like dimming our own brilliance), and her humor which lands perfectly in sync with how most women feel post 50. The main thing I loved about this author’s tone is that she didn’t waste my time.
I am a fast-paced and constant thinker. I hate when books are filled with useless padding just to fill a space. I hate when I have to fast forward through blogs, podcasts, webinars, videos, courses, and books to get to the meat of the main point. Mel Robbins’ book was value-packed and illuminating from start to finish.
Stories Have A Clear Thread Of Connection To YOU
I generally am bored when I see ‘case studies’ used as ‘examples’ to make the point. But Robbins used her actual coaching sessions with various real women to begin driving her value home. Smart, because these women are relatable to the women reading this material. They are our soul sisters. Twins in karmic tendencies, whether it be relationship or career issues blocking progress.
Direct Line Between Your Life And Your Career
Robbins makes a significant emphasis on the reality that our lives and our careers are interconnected. We bring our lives to work with us. She points out that any baggage or patterns in our personal lives absolutely are playing out within our careers. And she digs in deep to uncover those patterns within each woman featured in her coaching session.
She clearly and articulately draws the direct connection between the individual problems experienced by her clients and the women reading her book. It’s highly relevant and amazingly on point with, for example, my personal and career issues.
The Advice For Transformation Is Solid
This made the book fly by and I devoured it and Robbins’ tips for addressing and transforming negative patterns into strengths and liberation. That leads to why I was happy with this book; it is a positively transformative guide for women to thrive in relationships and career.
I found it so rewarding to have ‘a-ha’ moments throughout the chapters of this book, and to know there are actual strategies I can use and practice—based on Robbins’ wise advice—to change my life for the better.
There’s A Workbook For You To ‘Work It Out’
There’s also a comprehensive accompanying workbook to use as a guide for uncovering patterns that are holding women back. It offers concrete advice and tips to put in place--or replace old habits that are no longer serving.
I haven’t yet started the workbook, but I decided I will. I had revelation after revelation about how my relationships have molded my thinking and how some of these responses no longer work for my survival, coping skills, much less my success and happiness.
Connecting And Highlighting The Positive Mission Of Women
But the book is uncanny in its ability to find common threads for women everywhere. Work It Out is a light in a tunnel. I recommend we use Robbins’ beautiful and powerful book to make our way through to a new place of joyful fulfillment.
In honor of International Women’s Day, and for women everywhere, we deserve to thrive in expression of our greatest potential.
Thank you, Mel Robbins, for your contribution to this beautiful mission.
Get ‘Work It Out’ and other books by Mel Robbins here:
by Jenny Leigh Hodgins
If I could go back in time to speak to myself in my youth, or, if there’s one thing I could say to those remaining after I’m gone, the message would be, “Don’t waste your time being afraid.”
Fear has been the one internal opponent that has slowed me down, held me back, or blocked my ideas and actions. Not external obstacles or misfortunes, but this inner voice of anxiety.
In the past 2 years, I’ve started living Eleanor Roosevelt’s advice to do something everyday that scares me. I’ve learned it’s liberating to challenge myself to experience new things, ideas or experiences, or go for higher, different goals as a way to grow my courage overall.
But I’ve also learned that getting to the root of fear is hugely important.
The inner energy of my intent or feeling while taking action makes a powerful impact on the outcome.
It is important to act. Yes, do that.
But go deeper. Look at that fear. Deal with that emotion. Get to the core of it. Spell it out. Analyze it. Ask yourself what you’re afraid of.
Once you get to the root of that fear and dissect it, you find clarity. When you see clearly what your fear is based on, you can use reason to counter each fear.
Let’s use an example:
I’m launching my new online business. This new venture requires that I learn things I’ve never done. That alone has caused me fear.
But when I look at that fear through the lens of reason, I find it’s absolutely reasonable to feel fear simply because this is a new experience for me. Things we haven’t challenged before often naturally make us anxious.
This helps me see my fear as normal for my situation. This viewpoint relaxes me and diminishes my fear. I feel calmer and a bit proud that I’m pushing myself into new things and beyond my comfort zone.
One way to decrease fear is to acknowledge your courage in taking on new endeavors, in pushing yourself to feel the fear and take action anyway. It’s important to take a moment to celebrate that kind of victory. Celebrations of personal accomplishment are also a strong deterrent to feeling fearful!
As a new entrepreneur, and a highly sensitive person with OCD tendencies, I have many things that make me feel anxious. I start a cascade of inner questions to myself:
As a new business owner, the stress can seem relentless and unending. But by getting all my worries in focus in front of me, I can begin to break things down into a clear plan with my critical priorities mapped out.
I'm learning that having all my fears written down allows me a chance to face each one and brainstorm a solution for it. Next, I brainstorm ideas for a contingency plan in case my first solution doesn't work or something else happens to derail it. Sometimes this process enlightens me to a need to re-prioritize or shift my plans to accommodate additional issues and/or time.
Keeping my daily plan and inner intent in line with these priorities allows my mind to find ease, knowing I’m actively addressing everything necessary for reaching my goals. One of the most powerful anecdotes to any fear is taking concrete action. Taking action based on a plan through which I've faced my fears puts me back in the driver's seat of my life and my business success.
How To Get Back Up After A Failure
But, yes, sometimes I flat-out fail to reach goals. Or, I get out of rhythm with my priorities. Sometimes, I start spiraling into a downward stress mode where insomnia rears its head. I get run-down, and out of whack.
Yes, other personal, family or health issues distract my focus or throw me for a loop. I’m human.
When any of this happens--and things will happen--I get back to self-care basics. I refresh my determination. I refresh my determination again. And again. I go back to review my fears and center myself on my values.
As an entrepreneur, and hell, as a human being, I’m learning that it’s not a straight line to happiness and success. Rather, it’s a dramatic, magnificent drama with these crazy, off-the-beaten-path excursions, unexpected adventures, and hurdles that appear from out of nowhere. It’s heavy storms and strong gales of unforeseen problems that completely drench and knock me down into the sloppy mud.
That’s the story.
That’s the part of life that creates the dynamic arch of climactic engagement. It’s also the fuel for catalytic flow to unleash new, fresh, robust, colorful creative juice that leads to a view of an amazing, vast vista.
That new vista is a vision of your joyful fulfillment and the start of a new chapter for previously unimaginable victories.
But, this up-and-down, twisty, turning story cannot emerge without dealing head-on with fear, or without hitting plateaus of illusive limitations that cause you to rear back or stop dead in your tracks.
These obstacles force you to take three steps back, like the lion prepares an attack on his prey, to regroup. Assess. Take care of your inner world. Do whatever you need to refresh yourself and rebuild your inner fortitude.
Then, you may lunge forward, with all your might. That momentum gained from ripping out each fear by their roots will propel you forward in a way that you’ve not experienced until this moment.
Fear makes you face your problems to break through your self-imposed limitations so you may unleash your massive, unlimited, creative, beautiful human potential.
Fear makes you better yourself, both for your own happiness and for others in your life.
I’m learning that for every negative emotion, problem or experience, there is a positive. A way to convert whatever it is into value, inner strength and a source for deeper personal growth and wider progress.
It all goes back to nurturing creativity and inspiration, based on self-care. When we truly do the things that are beneficial for ourselves, we spur positive health, creative energy and the inner qualities we need to improve ourselves and for others.
How Dealing With Your Fear Buoys Your Success
That’s why I’m becoming grateful for my bouts with fear.
After wholeheartedly, directly wrestling with my fear, I find that interaction miraculously morphs into a kind of bearhug, leading me to a moment of gratitude.
This shift is an amazing metamorphosis that allows me a more informed view of my true self and my situation. I feel a burst of powerful confidence, with the strength to go after my goals with clear action.
This mood change propels the reach of my actions. The energy behind my actions grows more confident, joyful, compassionate, deliberate and resilient.
This personal development process reveals how dealing with fear buoys powerful action toward success and growth.
When you see fear as a part of your necessary growth process, it has the potential to be your friend. Fear becomes your guiding voice of wisdom to do the things you must do for a richer, happier life.
So let’s embrace our fears. Addressing our fear is the way to successful, enlightened living.
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.
Thank you for showing your love of my content with a LIKE or by sharing this blog with others.
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.