Inspiration | November 21

Inspiration November 21 >> Life In Limbo

I started listening to the This Is Your Life Podcast this week and have been really inspired by all the episodes I’ve heard so far. It’s all about leadership and productivity and branding.

I cried after watching this video about touchable memories. Such a truly powerful idea.

How cool does the Passion Planner look? I am considering funding the Kickstarter just to get one of my own.

I finished reading The Slight Edge this week and inspired the heck out of me! Seriously, this is one of the more powerful books I’ve read this year. (More book recommendations here)

Inbox for Gmail turns out to be awesome. I signed up to get an invite last week and I’ve been really liking it so far. I like the way they bundle together emails so I can instantly tell what’s important and what’s not (aka what’s in my “Promos” bundle). A side effect has been unsubscribing to a lot of email lists..

This article on how and why to keep a commonplace book was very inspiring. I have always written quotes down in whatever notebook or app I tend to be using at the time, but I love the idea of having a more consolidated and organized system.

I signed up for a free account on Copyblogger and got access to so many awesome ebooks about marketing and and copywriting.

Dylan interviewed his grandparents for their 65th wedding anniversary and it was a really touching article.

Such an awesome piece about traveling or being an expat for years.

On a related note, I loved this article about what you need to move to a new city. It’s giving me ideas for the next stage of my own personal adventure!

This week on Guinea Pigging Green, Laura and I are talking all about yoga teacher training! It was a fun episode to record and I think we touched on a lot of the interesting questions people might have about signing up for a training like this.

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Sometimes I don’t have many inspirational things to share at the end of each week, and sometimes (like today!) my cup runneth over. I was so endlessly inspired this week by so many different kinds of things, and that’s exactly how I like it. You may have noticed already, but I’ve decided to slow down my posting schedule here on the blog and devote more of my time to developing helpful content rather than just working to get something up every weekday. I’m already noticing huge gains in my productivity and planning for the future and this feels like a more sustainable rhythm for me.

This week flew by, and I don’t expect the next one to go any slower! My mom is arriving one week from yesterday and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I cannot wait to give her huge hugs and show her around my corner of Korea. Have a wonderful weekend!

How To Have Deeper Connections

How to Have Deeper Connections

Over on the podcast this week, Laura and I are talking about having deeper connections and more meaningful conversations with people.

The episode was inspired by this article about changing small talk into smart conversations, and this article on how to be polite. I for one, absolutely hate small talk. I’d much rather be in a corner somewhere reading my book than have to grasp at straws for conversation topics or talk about the weather. When I meet people that I can sense are kindred spirits, I’m usually a bit too enthusiastic to start talking to them about heartier topics.

In first year when I first met one of my closest friends, I’d only known her a few days before I sat down on her bed and asked her what she thought the meaning of life was. It’s a bit embarrassing now, but at the time all I knew was that my brain was starved of meaningful conversations after days of nothing but small talk, so the question just came out without me even thinking. Of course, she took it in stride and we’ve had plenty of deep (and shallow) conversations since.

I’m just like that – for better or for worse, I always try to take things to a deeper level. Sometimes it can get heavy, but most of the time it’s just comforting to talk about real feelings and hopes and goals with people that I trust. I don’t have a huge number of friends, but I am so lucky in that I know I could call any of the ones I do have right now and launch into some deep conversation and they’d be right there with me the whole time. The people I’m blessed to know have depth and layers and are able to really engage.

Since coming to Korea, it’s been great to know that I can form meaningful friendships on my own outside of university. That might seem like a “duh” statement, but to me it never felt like a sure thing. But being here, I’ve made some really true friends I’m able to talk to as if I’ve known them forever. It’s a pretty beautiful thing.

In the episode we talk about how to have more meaningful conversations, how to foster deeper connections with strangers, and how to take your friendships to another level. You can listen to the episode and find out more here.

How To Use Social Media More Effectively

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On today’s episode of Guinea Pigging Green, we’re talking about social media. Now, I totally love Instagram and Twitter – I think that they’re awesome tools for sharing inspiration and beauty. Unfortunately, they also have a dark side if you’re not careful about how you use them. For instance, I’ll readily admit to checking for “likes” compulsively and feeling strangely competitive towards those with more followers than me.

So that’s why today’s episode is all about using social media more effectively, in ways that will make you feel good and that take advantage of the positive aspects of these platforms. Our jumping-off point for this episode was a great article from Relevant Magazine: 5 Questions to Ask Before Posting to Social Media. It really resonated with me and since then I’ve been sharing its ideas in conversations and trying to consciously keep them in mind whenever I’m posting content.

In the episode, we talk about finding intrinsic motivations (ie. finding enjoyment in the act itself) for using social media rather than extrinsic ones (ie. enjoying the act because you want the reward that will follow). Personally I find it rewarding and (intrinsically) motivating to seek out beauty in my everyday life, to practice my photography and see slow-but-steady improvement, to find a community of like-minded people and to curate a collection of photos that are special and beautiful to me. I try to focus on these motivations every time I start to fall into a downward spiral of comparison or greed.

I think that it’s possible for these platforms to be a positive part of our lives, but I think it’s important for us to use them in a healthier and more conscious way. You can find the episode, which I think is full of food for thought, on our blog or by subscribing to us on iTunes.

Vegan Peanut Butter Cups

20140415-152642.jpgI’m over at Guinea Pigging Green today sharing a recipe for homemade, raw, and vegan peanut butter cups! I’ve already eaten four from the batch today, so it’s lucky they’re rather small.

These peanut butter cups are pillowy, naturally sweetened, nutty, and delicious. They’re a great little sweet treat and miraculously I was able to make them in my tiny Korean apartment without a real mixing bowl (I used a shallow bowl I got when I bought strawberries off the street), or a muffin tin (I used an empty plastic egg carton), or an oven (they’re raw)!

It felt good to mix ingredients up in a bowl, to use strong cinnamon, and to take food photos in a new space with new light. Baking while photographing the process is one of my favourite things to do but I always seem to forget how much I love it until I’m doing it again. Today I was reminded that I can always make good things happen for myself, even in a small space in a foreign country. It comforts me to think that as long as I have peanut butter and a wooden spoon, I can feel like I’m home. 

Check out the recipe here!