My Favourite Mantras

Abundance Quote via Life In Limbo

Over on the podcast today, Laura and I are discussing our favourite mantras, perspectives and life philosophies. We shared them with each other for the first time while recording, but it was awesome to see that we had so many similar ideas that went hand-in-hand. I definitely came away with some awesome new perspectives and a bit more peace.

There’s a little bit of overlap with my post about my favourite quotes, but surprisingly most of the ones I shared with Laura on the podcast are never-bef0re-shared on the blog (but shared about a million times with myself in my own brain). Here are a few of them:

Sit with it: I read a Tony Robbins quote a while ago that said “The quality of your life is in direct proportion with the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably live with.” It reminds me of doing cross country running in high school when my coach told me that it’s normal to be a little uncomfortable, that you shouldn’t be running in a way that gets rid of every ounce of discomfort. I think in every situation, we rail against uncertainty and annoyance and pain, but this mantra reminds me that we don’t have to believe everything we think and feel. We don’t have to try to change and control every little thing that happens to us. We can try and sit with it, accept that it’s not ideal, and breathe through it.

Big deal or little deal?: This has always been a favourite of my mother’s and it always instantly puts things in perspective for me. It reminds me that a good 95% of the things I get stressed out about aren’t very big deals – they might be stressful, but not much is at stake. I often think to myself, in a year’s time, will I remember being stressed about this? Usually the answer is that I probably won’t even remember it in a month’s time, and sometimes even less time than that.

Abundance: My wonderful word of the year has served me well so far. It’s amazing how many times it’s come up for me, and how many times it’s been helpful when things have been stressful or confusing. Sometimes I’m just repeating the word itself over and over in my head to remind me to think big and not scarce and small. Again, instant perspective shift.

Nobody cares about almost: I recently read this idea on Elise’s blog and it just kind of stuck with me. It reminds me that in the end, you can’t tell stories about the things you considered doing but decided not to. People want to know what decisions you made, what things you actually did. You can make your decisions based on who you are as a person and what you need – and then own those decisions – but you have to decide. You can’t just let life happen to you. Elise also shared this awesome quote from Amy Poehler: “Great people do things before they’re ready. They do things before they know they can do it. Doing what you’re afraid of, getting out of your comfort zone, taking risks like that – that is what life is. You might be really good. You might find out something about yourself that’s really special and if you’re not good, who cares? You tried something. Now you know something about yourself.” – Amy Poehler

Those are most of mine, but there are some real gems in what Laura shares as well. We also talk a lot more about what these mantras mean to us and how they’ve shaped our decisions and lives so far.

You can listen to the episode right here or by subscribing on iTunes. Happy Tuesday!

Washi Tape Frames and My Favourite Quotes

WashiIf you saw my post about my apartment here in Korea, I’m sure you noticed that like all apartments, it didn’t come decorated, and that there were blank walls as far as the eye could see. If you didn’t notice, it’s clearly a testament to my highly creative camera angles (ha) because trust me, they were there.

DSC_1998Slowly but surely, I’ve been trying to decorate as best as I can. This is a one-year living situation (that I am 2 months into already – how did that happen again!?) and I can’t paint the walls, so I’ve had to get a bit creative. Challenge accepted!

DSC_1995I was inspired by this washi tape frames project I saw on Pinterest, originally from Design Sponge. I was also inspired by Recite This, a website that takes any quote or phrase and transforms it into a beautiful poster with a design of your choice. So I pulled together a little gallery wall with some of my favourite sentiments, most of them taken from my Pinterest board full of quotes I find inspiring.

DSC_2019This project really doesn’t require a tutorial. All it takes is a little inspiration, a bunch of washi tape, and dash of creativity. I bought my washi tape at Daiso stores in Korea and Japan (the Japanese stuff was much stickier and better for this kind of project!), but you can find coloured and patterned tape at any craft store.

DSC_2013Print off some quotes or rip some beautiful photos out of magazines and you’re ready to go! I just put mine up in an arrangement I liked and tried my best to tape in straight lines. I failed, of course, (case in point: the above photo) but I’m still happy with the results.

washi collageHere’s my wall so far. On the left is a cute fabric flag with an ice cream cone on it I bought in Japan. The turquoise poster is just a flyer that I picked up from a stack of advertisements at the Tokyo Metropolitan building. I don’t know what either of them say, so if I have any readers that speak Japanese, please let me know! There’s also a funny little poster with the line “I’m very font of you because you’re just my type”, because I’m a nerd when it comes to typography.

Then I have a collection of some of the quotes that I love. These quotes are such great reminders of many of my favourite life philosophies and seeing them on my walls always gives me a mental nudge in the right direction.

“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” – Aristotle / This idea is always a solace to me when I’m getting frustrated about one particular photo, or blog post, or day of the week, or interaction with a loved one. To me, it means you have bad days but a good life. You may hate something that you create but begin to appreciate it from a distance or when you see how it works with other things you’ve made. If you make a mistake you can start over tomorrow. How you live 80% of the time matters more than the other 20%.

“I want to feel my life while I’m in it.” – Meryl Streep / I want to appreciate the special, magic, wonderful moments as they’re happening instead of after the fact, when I’m looking back. I want to be present and fully engaged for the good stuff (and for the bad stuff). I don’t want to feel like I missed the moment. These are the days!

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Theodore Roosevelt / Self-explanatory, but that doesn’t make it any easier to remember. I struggle with comparison every single day. This quote reminds me to get out of my own head and try my best to stop it already with the comparing game.

“The grass is greener where you water it.” – Neil Barringham / A similar sentiment is “Grow where you’re planted.” This one reminds me that life is what you make of it. With a few exceptions, moving to a new physical place isn’t going to solve all your problems – wherever you go, there you are. And even in the cases when a change of place was really necessary for your emotional wellbeing, it’s still up to you to make it your own.  To me it means: make the most of every situation and opportunity. Reach out, grow some roots, do your best. You don’t get another ride on this merry-go-round.

“No matter what the situation, we are very lucky.” – Julie Andrews / I only recently read this quote, but it struck a chord in me. To me, it just screams gratitude. Count your blessings. Appreciate all the good you have in your life. “If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.” Practicing gratitude instantly gives me a good dose of perspective in every situation.

“This is water.” – David Foster Wallace / I just printed this one off to add to my wall. It’s from a very wise and very wonderful commencement speech that I love very much. In a nutshell, it reminds me to give people the benefit of the doubt, to let go of the feelings that don’t serve me, and to try my best to be a conscious adult. You can watch an amazing version of the whole talk here.

You might notice that the washi tape is peeling on a couple of the posters. One of the kinds I bought wasn’t sticky enough for the texture of the wall, so at some point I’ll probably have to make new frames with the stickier tape or find another solution. For now, though, I love my little art installation – it keeps reminding me to live a better life.

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