How to hold a “Festival of Me”

You are worthy/ Du bist wert voll - mixed media art by Ursula Markgraf

Mixed media print “Du bist wertvoll” (You are worthy) – SOLD OUT

My birthday is today *yeah* which always makes me feel kinda funny. I do love my birthday and I love celebrating it. But the last years I kinda struggled with the “how”.

How do you celebrate yourself?

The older I got the harder I found that. I did not feel like having a big party. But I also did not want to spend the day just like any other day. What could I do to make it feel special?

When I asked in a group on facebook how others celebrate their special days, Candace – an arty and sea-loving Internet-friend of mine – talked about having a “Festival of Me”. I loved that idea so much  that I asked her to write a post for my blog about that. Everyone deserves a Festival of Me, right? So here it is:

You are worthy/ Du bist wert voll - mixed media art by Ursula Markgraf

Dear Birthday Girl,

Welcome to your Festival of Me.
Today would be a day I take myself to the sea.
By car or van or plane or train or bike
or on my own two feet.

After a fresh, nourishing breakfast with coffee,
and/ or a delicious tea ( I am having a white tea with rose petals today).
Or a joyous sparkly smoothie. What does your body want this morning?
Today could be a day I book myself in for a relaxing massage,
and pamper myself to high heaven and
take a walk or
curl up in a warm spot and
reconnect with every cell in my body.
And tell them, hey, thank you for
always working so hard to take care of me.

I might get my hair done, and have a
giggle with the hairdressers
over trashy magazines.
I might put on that dress or hat or little piece of jewellery
because today is that day
I have been waiting for to wear them.

I would take myself to the forest, or the park or the sea…
with a great book, and my Journal for Me.

In it I would write all the delicious dreams
I would love to have for myself in my life.
This is a safe space, this is a lush garden.
For your dreams, hopes, loves, fears.

I would write all the wonderful things that have happened, big or small.
Look for them.
I will start with : I am alive.
When my head starts to think about things I need to
solve and change and get over and understand before
anything else can happen.
I will rewrite these things to ask:

What is it that I seek?
I seek love, joy, peace, beauty
and fun.
I seek healing I seek feeling like everything is ok,
and there is nothing wrong with me.
I seek meaningful connections with
sisters and brothers of the soul.
And it is done.
You have come such a long way,
you have been loving, you have been brave,
you have always done the best you know how.
And so have the people around you,
whether you know them or not.

Today on my Birthday Festival of Me
is a day to collect all the pieces of me
and love them.

I would read my Journal of Me,
my Mermaid Memo,
often to remind me of where I want to go,
to help me make choices (is this towards what I want?)
and to record the wonderful little things that unfold:
seeing hearts everywhere,
seeing little signs you know are for you or you would not have noticed it.

Remember that feeling of ease and flow when it happens.
Always use that as your inner guide.

Happy Birthday Lovely.

Love,

Candace Loy

P.S

Birthdays are special simply because you were born.
Spend it on your own or with loved ones, however you like!
And you know what, this Festival of Me, could be any day you want!
Schedule it in and make that time the next time you can.
Maybe next weekend? :)

About Candace:

I followed my heart to the ocean and moved from Singapore to Australia to New Zealand,
where I paint, surf, and am researching sustainable seafood and learning how to dive and
freedive.
I lived in Melbourne for a few years when I was in brain research.
It is also where I learnt to surf on the Great Ocean Road.
Melbourne is a city of many festivals:
and so I started treating everything like it was a festival, including birthdays!!
Because things are more fun like that.

On my birthday last year I took myself 4 hours’ drive up north to a beautiful surf break,
and stayed with friends on the way.
The world is your friend when you move around alone.
Pay attention to how you are feeling inside and trust it.
Let yourself chat with people on the way.
A little exchange about the weather, a little giggle over something funny.
These little moments remind us that we are never alone in all this,
we are all in this together.
I love you and have a wonderful Festival of Me.
I have plenty of great stories and eco-friendly products for mermaids coming up.
Including an eco-friendly waterproof journal. Wait till you find out how it’s made!!
Get the free mermaid manifestival and updates at HERE.

So when are you going to hold your Festival of Me? Get your calendar and set a date! Now! And let us know in the comments. :-)

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Why it isn’t selfish to fulfill your dreams

When I was thinking about what blogposts to write for the rest of the year I really wanted to add a post about this topic. Cause honestly, that was one of my major fears when I started to work on fulfilling my dreams. Won’t people think I am selfish? What if everyone would only do what makes them happy? Am I an egoistic person?

By now I am certain that I am not egoistic or selfish and that the world would be a better place if people would do what made them happy and fulfill them. But when I sat down on the computer to write about why it is not selfish … the page just stayed blank.

Luckily I got some professional help. ;-) The wonderful coach Sandra Heim with her website www.mamarevolution.de (GERMAN) wrote this guestpost (Her guestpost was written in German and translated by me with her permission):

Does this sound familiar – your heart’s desire is calling and you start to open yourself up for new possibilities. But suddenly you are confronted with fierce resistence: “You can not do that”, “That will never work out”, “Do you care only about yourself now?” At that time you need to stay strong. Cause one thing is cretain: To fulfill your dreams is not only the best you can do for yourself. Here is why.

I still remember the reaction of my parents pretty well when I told them after I had finished my studies: “I will not take a regular job. I will write my first book.” They were not really jumping for joy, but they seemed rather desperate.

Of course I would have really liked to avoid all the conflict, but then I would have had to deny my inner voice completely and luckily my inner voice was too strong for that already.

Today, a few years have passed, I did not end up as a broke writer on the street and my parents are at peace with my path. Partly also because to a certain degree my choices lead to my happy marriage and their only grandchild.

Turning your own visions into reality often means that this first leads to chaos, which is followed by a new all-encompassing order. This order is beneficial to many people, not just yourself.

Follow your north star - mixed media art by Ursula Markgraf

Mixed-media art print “North star” – SOLD OUT

Fulfilling your dreams is not selfish,

 

 1. cause you will put a whole chain of positive occurrences into action

My first book was one of the many puzzle pieces that lead me and my husband together and gave my parents a happy daughter and a long-wished for grandchild. The voice inside you that encourages you to believe in your dreams knows more than you do. This voice wants the best for all involved and knows that your actions will have extensive consequences. If you follow this voice your life will be touched and enriched by many other people.

 2. cause it makes you a better version of yourself

To realize dreams means, that you have to give up parts of yourself in order to reach your future, like your strongest self-doubts or destructive habits. The stronger you hold onto your vision, the faster a new self-confidence will bloom and you will be a light for the people around you.

3. cause you will turn into a source of inspiration, especially for the people close to you

I am not sure how you feel about this, but when I can not do what I love (like sitting on my laptop and writing like right now) then I become grumpy. I nag at my husband, even though he did not do anything, am unjustly impatient with my daughter and so on … To follow my biz dream and work as a coach and author each day is my way of making sure that I am a content mom and wife the rest of the day.

Notice: If you express your visions and talents then you contribute to the well-being of your family and relationships.

4. cause you will make God laugh

Sometimes I imagine what God (the universe, the source or however you want to call it) feels like when he looks at us humans, his co-creators. It must be boring to always see the same things, mustn’t it? Human gets up in the morning, goes to the loo, goes to work, comes back home, sits in front of TV, goes to bed, gets up next morning … How refreshing must it be to watch someone finally do things differently? Someone who pauses and thinks: “Wow, I really must follow this idea! I don’t know yet how this will work, but I will open my own art gallery!” Making your dreams real means to give joy to God.

5. cause you will make yourself happy

Last but not least this is about you. You are the person that is closest to yourself, that you know best, that you are going to spend the rest of your life with and that you went through all ups downs with. Isn’t it appropriate to show this person’s dreams the utmost respect?

Which dream do you want to make real? I would love to read your comments!

Sandra’s website www.mamarevolution.de is in German, however she is fluent in English and happily works with English-speaking clients. As a coach she supports moms to make their own businss dreams real so they are financially independent, express their talents fully while having enough time for their kids. You can schedule a first free session by emailing her: sandra@mamarevolution.de

10 ways to love yourself.

Well, not THAT kinda love, cheeky!

Love yourself - mixed media art print - by Ursula Markgraf

Mixed media art print “Love yourself” – art print available HERE

Why would I tell you to love yourself you ask?
Well, because you are important! Because YOU are the most important person in your life. Think about it – you are the one that is always there for you, right? You are the one you can always count on. You have to have your back!
Yes, of course you have other friends as well. I am not saying they are not important. But many women simply overlook that they are important, too. Very.
So what if your relationship with you is not the best it could be? Well, here are some ideas how you can start to improve it:

1. Treat yourself the way you treat others that you love and care about.

Be gentle and kind to yourself. Why would you treat others nicely, but not yourself? Surely you deserve to be treated kindly!

2. Check your own beliefs about yourself.

Do you truly believe you are beautiful? You are lovable and loved? You are worthy? If you do not believe those things, why not? (And just for the record, yes, of course you should believe those things.)

3. Start using affirmations to tell you how wonderful you are.

For example you could have one that says „You are loved“ in your purse. Or let your phone tell you that “You are worthy”. Or hang an art print on your wall that reminds you “Love yourself”. ;-)

4. Take good care of yourself.

If you are stressed, sick or tired, try to think about what you would tell your kids or best friend in the same situation. Would you pressure them to just pull themselves together? Or would you tell them lovingly to take a break and rest?

5. Write yourself a loveletter.

Sounds weird, doesn’t it. But it is a nice way to truly think about what you think about yourself and give yourself some tender attention and love.

Love yourself - mixed media art print - by Ursula Markgraf

6. Have a me-date.

At least once a month. Once a week would be even better, but I know how crazy it can be with kids, family, work. When you have a me-date you only do what YOU love. Treat yourself to something nice. Be extra kind. No running errands. No „I am supposed to do that so I might as well…“. Just NO. Do something that YOU LOVE.

7. Dress yourself FOR yourself.

I realized some time ago that when I get dressed I mostly think about how others will see me. How crazy! Especially since I am the person I spend most time with.
So now I try to dress myself so I am happy with it. Sometimes I love to stay in my yoga pants and a comfy shirt all day. Yes, most people would not call that properly dressed. I am fine with that. :-) Sometimes I will get dressed up even though I am going nowhere in particular. Just because.

8. Hone in on what YOU need.

It is so easy, especially for women and mothers, to completely loose track on what their own needs are. We focus so much on what others need and get so used to being there for others, that we kinda loose touch with ourselves. Have you ever had this feeling that you simply do not know what you want, what you would enjoy right now, whether you rather wanna stay in or go out – read or paint – just sit still or watch a movie? Try to get more in touch with yourself. Try to get a feel for what you need. Sometimes this might be an evening at home alone with a movie. Sometimes it might be a coffee with a friend or a long walk. Practise to get better at knowing your own needs.

9. Be forgiving toward yourself.

If your child or a good friend does something wrong, you forgive. So do the same for yourself. Who says you have to be perfect. Noone is! So if you expect yourself to never make mistakes, that is totally unrealistic and kinda crazy. Right? Stop it.
(Noone said loving yourself would be easy.)

Love yourself - mixed media art print - by Ursula Markgraf

10. Listen to your intuition.

This has taken me a long time. And I am still working on it. But by now I deeply believe that we all have an inner knowing. Find it. Trust it. Honour it by listening to it.

I hope this list gives you some ideas. Have something to add? Please do so in the comments.

I would love to hear from you!

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Sunday whispers – 15 ways to slow down your life

The last couple months have been a huge aha for me. Taking breaks and evaluating what works in my life and what doesn’t has led to some major slowing down. Now, if you know me, I am not someone who is naturally comfortable with „slow“.

I talk fast, I walk fast, if I have an idea I wanna do it NOW. And no, unfortunately I am not exaggerating. The idea of going on vacation and spending all day laying at the beach literally freaks me out. That’s the sort of person I am.

As you can imagine patience is not really one of my super-strong traits. ;-) So slowing down for me is … hard. To say the least. I have tried to live slower before in my life, but somehow it never worked. Even just laying in the yard in the sunshine for five minutes was literally impossible for me. You would have had to tie me down to make me do it. (Nope, I am not kidding.)

15 ways to slow down your life

But lately, it has become easier. Alot. I am not sure why exactly, but I can say … I LOVE it. I finally know what the beauty of now is. I can sit and just be. Not always. And not for hours in a row. But more and more often. And it feels wonderful. I can enjoy the sunshine, the wind, a flower – and all is perfect just in that moment. It brings such a wonderful peaceful contentment that I never had before in my life. I am so grateful and thankful for that.

And once I had experienced this beautiful feeling, I wanted more. :-) Unfortunately with life it is not that easy to slow down. If you are not careful you are back in the old tracks, with the old speed. So I thought I try to fit in as many things to slow down my life as I can. And in case you wanna slow down your life a bit as well – here is a bit of inspiration. 15 ways to slow down your life. Take your pick.

1 Having a cup of tea.

As you might be able to guess this is my absolute favorite one. Just sitting – preferably on our swing in the backyard – and sipping some hot tea to me is magic.

15 ways to slow down your life2 Writing in a journal.

I used to write a lot in journals as a child. A LOT! I loved writing. I still love writing. And writing always helps me to sort out emotional stuff and process what is happening. And it somehow takes the pace out of life. Instead of hopping from one thing to the next you sit down, write, reflect. Oddly, at some point I stopped and figured it is a waste of time and paper. OMG, how could I! I am glad that I am back on it.

3 Doing some yoga.

Somehow yoga helps me to feel more grounded and calm. It has a wonderful effect on me and my mind. I love the yoga videos by Erin Motz and her 30 day yoga challenge helped me to do yoga regularly. Check out her videos – they are not super-long and therefore easy to implement in your day. You can access them here.

4 Eating S L O W L Y.

Now I have to admit I used to kinda inhale my food. :-) Not even on purpose. But I was always so busy in my mind, thinking about stuff that by the time I was done with a meal I often realized that I had not paid any attention to my meal AT ALL. (That odd moment when you look down your plate, realize it is empty and wonder where it all went.) So now I try to eat my meals really slowly, bite by bite. Preferably outside in the sunshine. This one is super-hard for me as I get distracted from concentrating on my food REALLY easily. But I am working on it. Nice side-effect: My stomach really likes when I eat slowly. Much less tummy distress. Ooooh, and you most likely will need to eat less to feel full. ;-)

5 Sitting on a swing

No idea why this one works for me, but it does. I LOVE swings. Always have. I could sit on swings for hours. Give it a try, maybe it works for you, too?

6 Being outside in nature.

I love nature. And I have a feeling nature loves me. ;-) Sometimes I just sit in our backyard or on a bench in a park. Listen to the birds. Watch the leaves sway in the wind. Watch some water. It is like a hug for the soul.
When quietly sitting is too hard, I run or walk or cyle. It is not as slow as sitting. ;-) But it still helps.

7 Writing a letter or postcard.

Yes, by hand. No email allowed! This is about slowing down, remember.When you are done with writing – send it to someone you care about. Most people do not expect written mail anymore and REALLY appreciate it.
And if you need some inspirational postcards … I got you covered HERE. ;-)

8 Reading a book. FOR FUN.

Yes, just for fun. Get lost in the story. When did you do that the last time?15 ways to slow down your life

9 Cuddling a pet.

Pets are awesome teachers for living more slowly. Ever saw a cat running around frantically? Or a dog stressed out about the fact that he did not get enough done today? 

10 Folding or hanging some laundry.

I know this sounds weird. For me it works. I somehow have a thing for mindless, repetitious tasks. They calm me down. Washing the dishes also does the trick. For some odd reason cleaning the bathroom does not. :-( Too bad.

11 Picking just ONE thing from your to-do list.

Try it just for a day. I know this one is hard and certainly does not work every day. But once-in-a-while be fine with doing just ONE thing.

12 Sitting alone in the dark with a candle.

Sounds spooky? Try it. The dark is not as dark as you might think. I find it super romantic and calming to watch the flame.

13 Riding a train.

Instead of going by car, go by train. I love riding the train. It is so wonderful to just sit, with lots of leg space (unlike in the car) and watch out of the window and see the landscape slide by. Being able to just daydream or read.
Oh, and if you have one of those annoying “talkers” sitting next to you – headphones do the trick. You do not even have to put music on. Just wear some headphones and people will leave you alone.

14 Sketching.

If you do not like to sketch, do something you love. For me things like knitting, crocheting, sometimes sewing work well, too. It just has to be enjoyable, slightly “mind-less” and no immediate result is required.15 ways to slow down your life

15 Listening to a meditation-audio.

Of course meditating is awesome to slow down. But I am still not good at doing it “by myself”. Most of the time when I sit still my mind starts racing. So I “trick” it by listening to guided meditations. I truly love the ones by Deepak Chopra, but there are so many out there. You surely will find something that you like. 

Now tell me, do you intentionally try to slow down your life?
If yes, leave me a comment and tell me your favorite way to stop the world twirling around you.

 
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Sunday whispers – Reminders from the little girl inside you

I have not written in such a long time. But behind the scenes I was busy working on something I am so psyched to share. My first ever own postcard line. *squeal*

Each card has a message for you from the little girl inside you. You know her, right? The one that wants to play, enjoy life, go on adventures, be held and loved. The one that deeply believes that you are just glorious and can do ANYTHING you ever set your mind on.
(She is kinda like the opposite to your inner critic I wrote about earlier.)

Sometimes with life getting busy and so many things to do we forget about the little girl inside us. We get busy working on “stuff”. We stop listening to our dreams. We stop believing that we are princesses and have all the power in the world.

So, these postcards are reminders from your little girl. She tells you that you are a princess. That you are wonderful, beautiful, amazing and capable of anything you want to do.

That your dreams will give you wings. They might be scary, but they will make it possible to fly.

That living your life is not about doing what you think you are supposed to do. Living your life is about YOU, about your dreams. This is the one life you have – so live your dream. Every day. And for the big dreams – live your dream every day a tiny bit more. ;-)

Enjoy my postcards and their messages?
Then hop over to my shop and buy a set. Each set consists of 6 cards – 2 cards of each design. So you can keep one and send one. ;-)

Mixed-media postcard set P.S. There is an English and a German version of the cards. So choose whichever you like. 

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Sunday whispers – Change

Things change. During the last months alot has happened and I feel that I have changed. So I needed to update my ABOUT ME page, as it kinda felt like a pair of pants that just did not fit anymore. Feel free to hop on over and check out the new ABOUT ME and let me know what you think. :-)

Ursula Markgraf

I also added – already a while ago – a mixed-media gallery. And I changed the button gallery. I hope to update both a bit more, but at least it is a start.

I think more things will change on the website. If you read here more frequently you probably realized that my blog content has changed quite a bit lately. So I plan to also add some new freebies that will resemble more what I do or write about now. And I actually have some other big news coming up. So stay tuned! Or sign up for the newsletter to not miss it and be the first to know. ;-)

And now I want to inspire you to think about your life, your surroundings, your belongings. Is there anything in your life that needs „updating“ cause it kinda belongs to who you were – but not to who you are?

And if you happen to have a website or blog – have a look at the ABOUT ME. Does it still fit to who you are?
Pick one little thing that just does not „fit“ into your life anymore and either „make it fit“ – or let it go.

And then come back and tell me how that felt!

And if you do happen to update your ABOUT ME, put the link in the comments. I would love to check it out.

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Sunday whispers is a little series. My goal is to post something shortish but inspiring for you each Sunday – hopefully together with some art – so that you have a little incentive to slow down, reflect and think. I know how crazy weeks can be, but after all, it is Sunday. :-) Enjoy and let me know what you think. You can find the other Sunday whisper posts HERE.
 

Sunday whispers – Wanna see my magic mirror?

When I was a little kid I loved fairytales. One of my favourites was Snowwhite. Of course I did not like the mean queen. But I loved the idea of owning a magic mirror. That would be awesome, wouldn’t it?

Imagine, a mirror that tells you how amazing and beautiful and wonderful you are. Whenever you are not feeling so great, all you need to do is look into your magic mirror and you would instantly know what a grand person you are. In my opinion every person should own such a magic mirror. Well, maybe not everyone. The mean queen certainly not. But you and me. ;-) 

Unfortunately up until now in my life I have not seen such a magic mirror anywhere. So I simply made my own first prototype:

Magic mirror / Zauberspiegel - mixed media project - by Ursula Markgraf

Okay, I have to admit, the magic part is a little … slim. But as it proofed kinda hard to hunt down some sorcerers or witches it was kinda difficult to put actual magic in it. So I did the next-best thing. I certainly think that this mirror will work. Every time you look into it, you will feel a lot better. 

I made this magic mirror for my daughter and the sentences on it are in French. But of course you could make a similar mirror in German, English or Gaelic ;-). You can make one for someone you care about. Or, for yourself.

What would your magic mirror tell you ever morning?

P.S. Would you like some instructions or templates on how to make your own magice mirror for yourself or your kids?

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Sunday whispers is a little series. My goal is to post something shortish but inspiring for you each Sunday – hopefully together with some art – so that you have a little incentive to slow down, reflect and think. I know how crazy weeks can be, but after all, it is Sunday. :-) Enjoy and let me know what you think. You can find the other Sunday whisper posts HERE.
 

Sunday whispers – Do you believe in miracles?

To be honest, I am rather nervous writing this. After all, everyone who ever stumbles upon this page can read this. And, well, to some it may sound odd. But it is truly what I believe so here it goes.

I believe in miracles. 

I believe in miracles/ Ich glaub an Wunder - mixed media art piece by Ursula Markgraf

(The mixed media art piece reads “I believe in miracles” in German. I will have to come up with a way to make my mixed media art bilingual. *laugh*)
 

This has not always been the case. I have always believed in God. (Having said that, I do not think that you need to believe in God in order to believe in miracles.) But miracles, well, I just was not sure. I kinda always wanted to believe in them. But, it just sounded so unlikely. How could any reasonable person – me ;-) – believe in miracles. Or anything that can not be explained. (Do not ask me why I believed and believe in God then. Can not be explained either, I know.) Then one day I watched a video about manifesting with Marie Forleo and Gabby Bernstein. In that video – which you can watch HERE – Gabby quotes “A course in miracles” (which I have not read yet):

“Miracles are natural. When they do not occur, something has gone wrong.”


WOW! Seriously?

Somehow this quote totally grabbed me. I mean, if that was true – wow! I started pondering this idea. Or rather that idea kinda settled in my brain and I could not stop thinking about it.
I figured, well, there is no harm in kinda „testing“ it, right? I mean, if I start believing in miracles and behaving that way the worst thing that could happen is – nothing.

So that was pretty much what I did. And, well, it is hard to describe what happened. But it certainly was not „nothing“. I have experienced so many „coincidences“ in the past year, that statistically speaking it would mean something like winning the lottery and getting struck by lightning the same day. Okay, not sure if that would be statistically correct – I am horrible at math * laugh*- but you get the point. So basically, over time I stopped believing in coincidences. 

How about you?

Do you believe that miracles actually happen? Or do you think „coincidences“ are nothing more than that, coincidences?

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Sunday whispers is a little series. My goal is to post something shortish but inspiring for you each Sunday – hopefully together with some art – so that you have a little incentive to slow down, reflect and think. I know how crazy weeks can be, but after all, it is Sunday. :-) Enjoy and let me know what you think. You can find the other Sunday whisper posts HERE.
 

Sunday whispers – Do you have a guardian?

One of my goals for this year is to make more art, „play“ more with my art materials, learn new techniques. So I signed up for Lifebook 2014. The first exercise was to draw your own guardian for the year. I had already drawn my „reminder“ for my word for 2014 and I knew I wanted my guardian to look similar. But I wanted her to look less scared. After all, she was supposed to protect me from my own inner critic. And that’s a tough job, you know. ;-) So this is her.

Guardian - mixed media - by Ursula Markgraf

I do love how she turned out. She is not perfect of course. But nothing ever is. :-) Or as Danielle LaPorte says:

“Every masterpiece that’s ever been done – it could have been better”
Danielle LaPorte

Like it? Tweet it!

And everytime I look at her I do feel „stronger“. Odd, right?!

Do you have a picture or „thing“ that reminds you of your own power?

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Sunday whispers is a little series. My goal is to post something shortish but inspiring for you each Sunday – hopefully together with some art – so that you have a little incentive to slow down, reflect and think. I know how crazy weeks can be, but after all, it is Sunday. :-) Enjoy and let me know what you think. You can find the other Sunday whisper posts HERE.
 

Sunday whispers – Meet your worst critic

Meet Lizzy, the lizard. She looks like a dragon. And she certainly thinks she is one. She thinks she is big and terrifying. But in reality she is rather small. Look at her tiny wings. There is no way she will ever be able to fly with those. She is almost cute. Which bugs her alot.

Lizard/ dragon - handmade by Ursula Markraf

So she makes sure that she behaves like a horrible dragon. She can be quite a pain, cause she comments on everything I do. And I mean EVERY thing. And her comments are not the nicest.

I get to hear things like
„You can not do this. Stop it! Right now! You will mess it up. You will make a fool out of yourself.“
„You can not make art! Who do you think you are?! You are not talented at all. People are gonna laugh about you!“
„You should not write this. Stop it. Noone wants to read that. And if someone does reads it, they will think you are stupid. Noone will take you seriously.“
Oh, I could go on … and on … and on …
She alwas tells me that I am not good enough, I can not do things, I am not smart enough, I will never succeed ….

Does that sound familiar?

For a long time I actually had no idea that everyone has their own „Lizzy“. Every single person on this earth has this little voice inside them, that critizes everything they do. And that little inner critic never rests, never goes away, will never leave. Wow, that was big news to me.

Lizard/ dragon - handmade by Ursula Markraf

As I could not get rid of my Lizzy I decided to make my peace with her. I learned that she does not actually want to harm me. No, she wants to protect me. She is just scared. For me.

So I named her Lizzy. Because that sounds cute. And it reminds me that she is just a lizard. Not a dragon! So nothing to be afraid of.
Also I made myself this actual Lizzy, so I can carry her with me. All the time. And whenever she starts to tell me all that negative crap I can look at her cute face and remember that she is just scared. And that I should never ever believe what she is telling me!
I can pet her, calm her and tell her that everything will be fine. That I can do this. (Whatever „this“ is.) And … it works!

Lizard/ dragon - handmade by Ursula Markraf

So I thought, well, if it works for me, maybe it works for you as well? So if you want to have your own „Lizzy“, you can buy one in my shop. Of course yours will not be called Lizzy. You have to name it yourself. Which by the way is super-helpful even if you do not buy your own lizard/dragon from me. ;-)

So, what is your inner critic called?

Lizard/ dragon - handmade by Ursula Markraf

P.S. Just a little warning: The lizards/dragons in my shop are limited. I only have the ones available that are in the shop right now. And I will not make new ones any time soon. If ever. Thought you should know that. :-)

PP.S. If you want to know more about your inner lizard … err inner critic… I recommend reading „Steering by starlight“ by Martha Beck. Awesome book! Seriously. Go read it. NOW!

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Sunday whispers is a little series. My goal is to post something shortish but inspiring for you each Sunday – hopefully together with some art – so that you have a little incentive to slow down, reflect and think. I know how crazy weeks can be, but after all, it is Sunday. :-) Enjoy and let me know what you think. You can find the other Sunday whisper posts HERE.