31 Days of Introspection: Week 1 Summary

Heya,

One of the greatest things I’ve realized that happens when you take a hiatus from social media is having more time for the things that you love. Mainly, Naomi.  I freaking love this little baby but I’m often doing school work when I am home, and my guy’s at work. I didn’t realize just how much time I spend on my phone until I stopped using it as much. When I wasn’t studying, I was crawling around on the floor with her, playing and reading books. I was able to get more bonding time with her while feeding because, instead of being on my phone scrolling through the latest Twitter feed, I’m gazing into her eyes.

Polish_20191207_035114073

 

One thing that I have been doing since I started the 31 Days of Introspection is counting the Twitch. I’m not exactly sure who came up with this because I was watching dozens of videos on youtube at the time that I heard it, but the Twitch is that moment when you have an itch to reach for your phone. Most times, I want to whip my phone out and look at it during the slow points of my day. When you’re on the toilet, cooking, watching tv, in between browsing loads when doing homework, etc. I didn’t realize just how much it filled my time until I started counting it.

Th first day it was hard. As soon as the clock stroke midnight, I felt the Twitch. I wanted to post about it. I’ve been keeping track of them in my The Elyzabeth Collection journal and, because I’m using the grid pattern, I filled three lines of boxes. As the days of the week went on, I realized the Twitch became less and less often. By the 6th day, which I spent in a hotel with my guy (thanks to his mom being in town and watching Naomi to giving us a break), I only counted 3 Twitches! How crazy is that? I went from at least 20 by midday to 3. It just reaffirmed that I’m taking this Introspection month seriously.

Another thing that I really wanted to do for this month is meditate. I decided to first focus on my confidence and self-esteem. I’m not down on myself but I definitely feel that I could believe in myself more. Especially when it comes to starting my business, writing books, taking great photos, and my ability to share my creations with the world. After I meditate, using Headspace, I’m calm and relaxed. I’m able to truly think about the future, who and what I want to be. I write in my journal at that point. But at first, I wanted to dive right in, do 30 minute sessions but I’m glad that I decided to go with the free trial for Headspace. The sessions are only 3 minutes long and it’s helped me be consistent and get excited to do it. I’ve also been approved for the Student account- which is only $9 a year versus $99. I’ll definitely take them up on that offer after the trial period is over.

Polish_20191207_041108132

 

I’m happy to say my hair looks fucking fantastic! I started dread locs on November 16th because I was already getting a bit lazy with my hair and I wanted to try something new that was low maintenance. My guy has been pushing me to do it for the last 5 years and I’ve finally given in. Yes, he’s excited. I’ll admit that I am as well. I feel…beautiful. Fucking beautiful. I started them with two strand twists but my hair is fine and thick and they quickly slipped out of the twist, as usual. I bought an interlocking tool and it’s made things so easy. What do you guys think?

Polish_20191207_035254153

Another thing that I’ve decided to do is hand pour my coffee. It’s perfect timing because we literally just ran out of pods. I hadn’t known much about this before I became obsessed with Matt D’Avella‘s videos on Youtube. He has a channel that is inspirational, heavily talks about minimalism and productivity. He’s also the film maker behind the documentary Minimalism. It’s absolutely fantastic. I almost cried watching the movie and I truly believe his videos have changed my life. I am ready to take on minimalism, although it is hard to let go of my sentimental items, and look forward to this journey. I’ve already gotten rid of more than one thousand books. Anyone who knows me knows that is heart-wrenching. But it was needed.

Polish_20191207_034431267

Speaking of books, I requested some from the library that I hope will help me on this journey to Minimalism. I’m so happy that our library system delivers! It’s one of the best things I’ve ever experienced snce moving to Florida.
These are the ones I’ve chosen:
Everything That Remains by The Minimalist (Ryan Nicodemus and Joshua Fields Milburn- from the documentary Minimalism)
The Minimalist Home by Joshua Becker
Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics by Dan Harris
The Cozy Minimalist Home by Myquillyn Smith

Polish_20191207_045358613
I set a goal to achieve this week. I wanted to do something regarding my business. Whether that’s to create a logo, a website, take product photos (etc). Every week has something. I started with a bang! I’ve created a website for my small business! The journals I sell are a part of The Elyzabeth Collection, check out the new site and tell me what you think!

Polish_20191207_034801980

 

Lastly, I’m still working on the actual ‘Minimalism’ part of this month. I didn’t realize that when I started getting things together everything would first fall apart. My apartment looks wrecked! Books, papers, boxes, and random miscellaneous items are everywhere. I’ve been attempting to use the KonMari method (Marie Kondo) and, although I’ve gone through the clothes and papers sections, I’m still not done. I keep going back to look at sections I’ve already done to declutter even more. I think that by the end of the month I will have even LEEEESSSSSS and I’ll still feel like there’s much to get rid of. It’s going to feel so good to have a safe place for Naomi to crawl and play.

Snapchat-1608197322

Thank you for reading this summary of the first week of 31 Days of Introspection. I want to be a new person in 2020. A Better me. I definitely feel that I am taking the steps, to do that, in the right direction.

Creating The Elyzabeth Collection

Hey ya’ll!

How’s your week been? I’ve been wanting to share this with you for some time but I couldn’t find the right words. I’m on this deep journey to understanding myself and feeling proud of the things that I create and this is one of mine passions. I know that you guys are aware (whether through my Twitter, Instagram, Youtube Channel or any other social media that I’ve posted them on) that I have an Etsy shop where I sell handmade, custom journals. I started creating these journals last year before I got pregnant with Naomi and I was on the fence about doing it. I was afraid to fail, afraid that no one would want to buy a journal, afraid that I couldn’t make a good product. Then we found out we were having a baby.

I allowed this to be used as my excuse to not make journals or start the business. “I don’t have enough time” (back then I was working, on pregnancy bedrest because I was high risk, and a full time student) and therefore I needed to wait. I said, “How can I start something new when there’s so much going on?” I don’t know how many reasons I gave to not start it but, to be honest, I knew what was really going on.

 

PhotoEditor_20190920_142807430

 

I’ve always had this issue with appearance. No, not physical appearance (you guys can clearly tell that I’m not the best in the fashion department nor do I try to be). I want to appear to have it together. I want to feel proud of myself and, sadly, I’ve always wanted others to be proud of me (yes, that’s also something I’m dealing with during this month of Introspection). But then something silly happened.

 

E65FFF25-A215-48BC-A3D5-20FAE52D204D

 

This summer, I had the sudden urge to write in a new journal despite having several unfinished ones at home that I’ve bought over the years. You know writers, this is our thing. Our JAM! I browsed online and couldn’t find one that I wanted. Then I almost slapped myself. I could just make my own. I looked at the many prototypes I’d made in Summer 2018 and I was vastly disappointed. I scraped all of those ideas and went to the store. My guy was with me, along with our little baby, and he helped me pick out materials. What are the best colors? What thread is going to work the best- turns out I’m obsessed with waxed linen thread, so that’s what I use. We stood there, going back and forth. Real leather? Vegan leather? Vinyl? Copy paper? Sketch paper? Black buttons? White buttons? So many questions, so many thoughts, way too complicated. I’m already indecisive. Why can’t it all be simple?

Then my guy said what do you want it to be. So I cut out all the noise, I picked out the materials and I made something new. Something simple, with a button, a flexible cover for bending or sketching across a knee, and several different page pattern types. Grid. Blank. and then later, Lined.  Then, I held the finished product in my hand, (yes I’m always, actively, trying to make them better) and I cried. I had finally finished something, I FINISHED something, without quitting “before I could fail” (ironic and all that), and it actually looked great. The quality was great.

So then, with loads of encouragement from several friends and my guy, I started my Etsy shop. (check it out here). I am not here to make all of these vast claims that it is wildly successful. I’m proud that I started it but I haven’t been able to put my all into it as I thought I would. This semester has been hard on me, as it was my first at the new University and I have Naomi to care for, and I haven’t had much time. That being said, 2020 is a new year. It’s time to look forward, not backward, and so I’m going to be implementing all of the things I learn over the next month.

 

writingjournals

 

And that’s why I’ve taken it an extra step. I’m really excited to say that I’ve finally created a website for my journals. It’s very new. Very, very, very new. I do not claim to be an expert on all things small businesses or to know all there is to know about being a founder/owner, or life, in general, but I’m doing the best I can. As an aspect of my 31 Days of Introspection, I’m taking a long hard look at my skills as a business owner, taking steps to growing my business, and will be learning all I can about marketing, product photography, and SEO. I’m also in the process of creating a logo that will perfectly fit into the brand of my small business. One that aesthetically fits with my photos as well. I am very excited about this! This is one journey I’m ready to take. Keep an eye open for more updates. If you’d like to support a small business, please buy a journal!

 

DSC_0062

Check out the tentative website here!

The Elyzabeth Collection

 

Check out the Instagram account here!
Instagram

 

 

(All photos on my instagram and other social media sites have been taken by me or my friend Colleen Watson. If you like them, feel free to like or leave me a comment!)

31 Days of Introspection: The Stats

Heya,

So I wanted to go ahead and give the stats for my December schedule for 31 Days of Introspection. I want to take a week to focus on each of these topics. I plan to take one of my own journals and fill it with daily ponderings about the topics. I am really going to try to focus on healing from my past traumas and moving forward into 2020.

Details:
Hiatus from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
Yoga or meditation daily (Working out doesn’t count!!) Decluttering and getting rid of EVERYTHING that is unnecessary by the end of the month

Writing more essays for my creative nonfiction book based on my life/childhood

Donating or selling discards: DOES IT SPARK JOY!?
Find time to read

I plan to use one of the notebooks that I make and sell in my etsy shop TheElyzabethCo for my daily thoughts. I haven’t decided which color or page pattern I want to use but I’m really excited. Usually I leave them for my sales so I don’t have one of my journals, in the new design, for myself. It’s weird but this has made me so happy. Gotta use your own product right?

writingjournals.jpg


To help me stay focused on my own journey I plan to post every Saturday, summarizing the week.


Introspection Schedule:

Week 1: (Dec. 1- Dec. 7)

Confidence – Self Doubt and Esteem

Week 2: (Dec. 8- Dec. 14)

Goals – Career and Life

Week 3: (Dec. 15- Dec. 21)

Hard Topics – Loss, Fear and Regrets

Week 4: (Dec. 22- Dec. 28)

Relationships – My Little Family and My Role as Mom

3 Remaining Days: (Dec. 29- Dec. 31)

Reflect over the last month

 

 

Jade

 

Let me know below if you plan to join me on this journey!

31 Days of Introspection + Becoming a Minimalist

Heya,

It’s been a while, I’ve had so much to do with school, writing, and a new baby. A busy life has allowed me to realize how messy my life is. I own thousands of books, boxes upon boxes of papers and old notebooks, purses I never use (especially with a baby, I basically use a fanny pack), books I’ll never read (not to be misconstrued with the books I’ve actually read and loved), and just miscellaneous objects that are just all over the place.

bedroom

I’m sick of it. My true turning point came about a week ago. I have decided to get dread locs, that’s a story for another time, and I was up late at night and twisting my hair. My guy was tied up and asked me to grab Naomi because she was fussing. I thought I could grab her really quick and bring her into the master bed/bathroom area and I slipped on a pile of clothes by the bed. I almost cracked my head on the corner of the wall, with my little baby tight in my arms. I almost cried. Because of my messiness, my laziness really, I had almost seriously injured my daughter. Things had to change.

desk

 

Before I decided to fully jump in, I cleaned my bedroom. *APPLAUSE* Thank you! Thank you! I folded all of my laundry (which also includes Naomi’s laundry and even a bit of Tony’s) and then I finished my hair. I had some TV show playing, as usual, but I couldn’t focus on it. The entire time I kept looking down at my tiny human, watching her wiggle about on her little mat. I wondered how I would feel if she had really gotten hurt because of my carelessness. What about upstairs? In the loft? She could eat something, pull down a messy bookshelf or find a needle from my crochet bag. Or in the dining room where there are exact-o knives and random piles of books and a paintbrush she could poke herself in the eye with. What about that? What about her own tiny area in our living room? She could have swallowed nonsense we tracked in on our shoes or pull down unsteady books from those shelves.

livingroomminim.

So I decided to change things. I have to get my life together.

shelfwithplants

It’s not just about the material things in my apartment. My mind is messy. I’m not sure how to be fully confident. I don’t know what to expect from myself. I’ve been through a lot over the last decade and I have packed myself so deep into the ‘strength’ box that now, when my dreams are coming true, I’m not sure how to measure myself.

All I know is that I can finish school, graduate school, and become a professor but can I?
All I know is that I can be a great mom to my little rainbow baby, Naomi, but can I?
All I know is that I’ve been a fantastic woman to my guy, Tony, but have I been?

What’s my truth? Am I the best I can be? Can I be better? Who am I now that I’m a mother? (They don’t tell you that you feel like a COMPLETELY different person after giving birth. Why don’t we talk about this?) Why can’t I just believe in myself? Why do I question things that I say I Believe with a capital B? I just don’t know the answers to these questions yet.

KitchenMinim.

I demand to know the answer to these questions. I owe it to myself to find out. I owe it to my future self to find out. I also owe it to my guy and my daughter, who I hope to raise to love herself and trust herself.

31 Days of Introspection is all about changing my life. Not only do I want to embrace the Minimalist lifestyle, I want to find out who I am in this new role as a mom. I want to discover my true goals in life, not just the fanciful dreams I wish I could have. I want to go into 2020 with a clear head and plans for the new decade.

For the month of December 2019 I am going to take a hiatus from all my social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. I plan to write my thoughts every day in one of the journals I sell in my shop, TheElyzabethCo, meditate, and focus on getting my apartment together. I’ve created a schedule for my mediation that will help me answer those questions.

So it’s Dec. 1st and I’ve decided to use my Black TheElyzabethCo Journal. I love Black and thought why not use the grid page pattern. I’m also going to keep track of The Twitch (the times I itch to get on social media, etc) and so the grid pattern is perfect because I’m shading in a box for each time. Oh lord.

e65fff25-a215-48bc-a3d5-20fae52d204d.jpeg

 

Stay tuned for the specific details regarding this month! I plan to upload them November 25th!

livingroomminim2
The photos I’ve included in this post are inspirations I pulled from Pinterest. I want my apt to be homey, with plants, comfy and exciting, but clean and decluttered. I want to focus on furniture that matches our style and isn’t just thrown together.

Jade