Guest Blogger, Meri, here to share her light!

Meritxell Garcia Roig, author of the Art of Empathy, and kickass Gabi Garrett team member has written us one of the most important messages this blog has seen in a while.... how to actually SIT and create the magic you know your pencil wants to create.


I woke up one day and I decided I wanted to write a book. Yes! A book, crazy, right?

Enthusiasm started running through my veins as I started to think about what would be the topic of my book, how would I organize the outline but something started to grow in the back of my mind: self-doubt.

I am sure you know the tone that the voice of self-doubt uses to talk to you and how critical it is. Listen to my critical voice for a second:

I catch my self-doubt voice running the show in the back of my mind but there is a stronger voice that wants to take the lead and says:

If I have learned something is that the voice of encouragement is the one I wanted to hear when I started to write my own book. 

I had no idea how to write a book because I had never written a book before but that was the beauty of it, everything was possible. I could build it up from the ground up with my own rules, learning, struggling, falling and getting up again.

Writing is for everyone who wants to write. You only need to have your unique vision of reality or create your own reality but whatever is the genre or the piece you produce it will be unique because you did it and you are like no one else. 

There is no one like you. No one can write like you do and this is the key for you to believe that no matter where you start the path the important thing is to start walking.

Writing is a path that regardless of where you start walking the importance lies in the pace, no matter how slow or fast you go, don't stop, don’t look back.

Writing is a skill we all have but what makes a writer a writer is perseverance. A writer is someone who never stopped writing and maybe that's why we idealize writers, artists or musicians, we believe there is a special place in heaven that is only for them. I used to believe that myself. 

No matter how loud the voice of self-doubt is you need to make the voice of encouragement your guidance. You can do anything you set yourself up to do if you persevere and you work from encouragement and not self-defeat.

If you have been wanting to write a book for the longest time now is the new later. Start today, set up five minutes each day to sit down and create the habit of writing. 

Believe me when I say if you write about something that it is in touch with your soul you will carve time out from nowhere to get this rush of having a time and a place to share a bit of you with others through words, through your experience, and through your creativity.

Be determined to get this piece of you out there that others can benefit from. Writing a book is no different than deciding to do a yoga course, learn something new, start taking piano lessons or decide to get into plant-based cooking. 

As anything new we are not familiar with fit and fear is the natural reaction. We want to run away from fear because it is uncomfortable and we have many reasons from our self-doubt voice that say: You are not enough, you can’t do it.

The trick though is to use this fear to propel you forward. We all have fears. The difference lies in how we use that fear to our advantage. 

What is the worst that can happen? That you write a book that won’t become a best seller? You will have written a book, this is the accomplishment. To walk through the path and give it all you have to give, learn and educate yourself, seek help, look for guidance, read other books of similar topics than yours, observe how others do it but above all Sit and Write.

If there is one thing I am certain about is that no book was finished by thinking about it. The difference between writers and those who want to write is that writers sit and write even when they don't feel like it, even when they don't know where it will take them, even when the result is not good but especially they write exactly when all the odds are against them. Because writing anytime is what makes you walk the path of writing your book. 

There is always something in you waiting to be written on a piece of paper and the only thing you have to do is show up. Sit and write. 

xoxo


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Here I am, 5:05 PM on a Monday. I've reached the end of my 'allotted' working hours. Yet, as the one who created this rule... I'm prone to break it. So, I hop on Instagram for just 15 more minutes... I then realize my house is pretty clean, my boyfriend isn't available for another hour...so, I ask myself the question I ask almost every day around this time:

"To Work, or Not to Work?"

That's my question.

If you work from home or are passionate about work - you've likely had this same question cross your frontal lobe when you get 5-20 extra minutes. It's the sensation called, "real quick."

Let me just do my IG stories real quick. Let me just check in on Sandy real quick. Let me just do tomorrow's task real quick.

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Before you know it, we're totally in super work mode. Which is awkward if you're at the grocery store.... or someone literally went to the bathroom at dinner.

Why do we default to working mode?

I have a few general ideas. For women, we are naturally people-pleasing. For all of us who are empathetic, we're also prone to be aware of other's emotional needs - meaning we think, "Gosh, Sam would be so happy if he had this right now." And, the cherry on top, for those of us entrepreneurs or passionate worker bees, we're also natural drivers.

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...Damn, so is this even worth exploring? Will we ever change?

I think we want to.

Or at least, we're willing to explore the possibility that there's life outside of work.

Here's my solution:

Step One: Identity what your work is.

List out what you did the past 3 days, then dive deep into if it feels or looks or acts like a work task.

Step Two: Make a dream list.

If you could do anything with your free 5 seconds-5 hours a week... what would you do?

Here's mine:

Step Three: Get deep on why you are workin' for the non-existent weekend.

I'm writing this to myself too... so, let's go slow - go to the coffee shop without your laptop. Practice not perfect, friend.

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Let me know in the comments the first action you'll take from this, plus, I'd love to hear if you enjoyed it. Share it with a pal and let's help each other gain space and mental clarity.

Xoxo

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I decided to turn my phone off on my first "real" vacation (Meaning I wasn't writing, didn't have my laptop and no appointments scheduled). To prepare for this I reached out to everyone I worked with and my friends & family ... hell, I even sent out a newsletter. Guess you could say I'm not a fly by the seat of my pants kind of chicken. This all took place the week prior.
The week of vacation I put myself on house arrest Monday & Tuesday so my work would be done & I'd feel like "WOOHOO" upon leaving the driveway.
Monday: 1:45pm, I decided "Ok, let's do this." - Phone off. Felt good. Feels real 1990 to turn that baby off.
smartphone acer jade s in the hands of a man on a background of yellow flowers
Tuesday: I woke up with a head of steam to finish the entire to do list (Who ever really can finish the list? Secret: no one) I'm all "HOW AM I GOING TO FINISH THIS?!" I picked weeds, I walked, I cleaned, I packed and I finished a client project.... I got done: 12:00pm.
Oh, well, guess I didn't need to be quite so frantic. <--- I say this a lot.
I was BORED! For the first time in a long time - and even Southern Charm reruns just didn't seem to do the trick, but I was committed to no phone & no work the rest of the day - so I just kind of "hungout". My grandpa says when you're bored you are mentally rested so Hoo-rah to that.

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"You're well rested now, kiddo!" Note: That's not my real Papa & he doesn't say Kiddo.

Wednesday: We depart! I'm being such a nice co-pilot because I'm not utilizing this time to e-mail, catch up with friends or look up sketchy Mexican on the side of the road... I'm just talking & listening. Yeah, 1990s life! Then my subtle anxiety started creeping around, guess it could be withdrawals. You know that voice, "You should be....insert a million shit things here."
I feel balanced upon arrival though & excited to be at our location - we head out for a drink & snack and anxiety hits me like a ton of bricks.
Well, shit. This is suppose to be fun!
When you're Type A, a recovering anxiety human & work for yourself - I suppose a bit of uncomfy-ness is normal - plus I'd had my phone off for 48 hours - a 2018 record, so I went outside took a few deep breaths and I'm happy to say - I allowed myself to have a really nice time.
Proceed to cozy dinner date, patio chillin' - and an uncomfy night sleep because the air broke, but that's another story.

Thursday:
Ew, I wish I could tell you I frolicked around all morning - but I'm honest and I felt so bad. They say highly sensitive people have 3 bricks - (they meaning the people I googled when I turned my phone on this morning.)

  1. Sleep
  2. Exercise
  3. Food

I had lost all three bricks by eating vacation food, not sleeping due to the heat and not getting much exercise unless walking bar to restaurant counts. I felt yucky and mad at myself for not dancing with joy.
I took a time out and checked phone ^ hence research. Nothing too wild - just 28 emails, 48 texts... the norm. Here's the thing - nothing needed done. I felt reassured.
I decided to reach for the best feeling thought I could find which is that I'm on vacation - on a cool little island with my boyfriend and I'm going to have a good time. And, the research that I'm HSP & it's normal not to love being out of your routine at first, really helped - so maybe this will help you too.
I'm proud to report after that realization (determination) and 20 minutes of meditation... I did have a fab time!
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I kept the phone in the drawer and checked it twice a day (<10 minutes total without much response to texts and none to email) and was able to enjoy myself.
Friday:
Last day of vacation - having fun and feeling that sensation of "Oh, my shoulders aren't up by my ears.. I'm relaxed!"
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With an influx of time sans technology or consistent communication, even social media checking you have a decent amount of time to check in with yourself and examine your life from an external point of view.
Though, I felt a little "yucky" - that's often feelings that can't come to surface with our consistent distractions coming out to play and upon returning I feel so much lighter.
I realized that I wasn't doing a lot of the two things I love the most: Yoga & Writing. Also, that I was prioritizing things as emergencies instead of going with the flow.
So here I am back... relaxed, flowing & writing!
I promise if you unplug a bit you'll find a cool realization too.
Here's to experimenting with the essence of being a human!

Xoxo

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Playboy magazine has decided to no longer feature nude women in an attempt at rebranding to attract Millennials.
This may not seem like a big deal if you’ve never scoped out a Playboy or only seen your little brother with one, but the fact that the magazine who changed journalism is focused on our generation says something. Playboy and Hugh Heffner’s tactics changed the way we interview today, they are credited with bringing the Q&A format to the journalism world we know today.
Google defines a mil – len- nial as a person reaching young adulthood around the year 2000; a Generation year. Most of us (Millennials) are 18 to 33 right now. According to Pew Social trends, this is the average picture of our generation:
We are racially diverse, we are relatively unattached to politics and religion, very linked in by social media, burdened by debt, distrustful of people and we aren’t in a rush to get married. Though we aren’t politically attached, we vote heavily Democratic and have mostly liberal views. We don’t have an issue adapting to technology as we’re the only generation who has never had the challenge of doing so. We are a little self-absorbed, 55% of us post selfies on social media or have done so at least once and 81% of us hang out on Facebook.
How does this translate to the publication power houses of the world?
Politically: Since we are unattached, so that makes us a great candidate for any campaigns, especially democratic to capture our hearts and our votes.
Single forever: Since we are not in a rush to get married, we have the opportunity to spend more of our young adult lives traveling (advertising in publications) and purchasing items with disposable income otherwise spent on starting a family young like in previous generations (again, advertising).
No issue with technology: All of the gadgets, phones, and online article publications are right up our alley. There is no barrier on getting us to understand how to scan to finish our workout on page 3 in our Self magazines.
Self absorbed: Happy to read and learn how to be better versions of ourselves and read publications around this.
This combination is important to many publications today – they wish to capture the voice of the future. If they can capture us at our 20-something age, publications can have a costumer for life if managed appropriately.

Where are we reading?

Elite Daily is in the top 5 of Millennial readership, so you’re in good hands with 71% of us struggling to figure out adulthood together. BuzzFeed, Gawker, Complex, The New York Times are among our other favorite websites.These websites function in different ways and help us stay up to date on what’s current and relevant in our lives.

What are we reading?

Blogs. Links on Facebook to articles from these favorite blogs of ours and and electronic magazines. We rarely pick up a hardcopy print magazine, says Adweek (Source 4). It goes without saying that we read our news while scanning our go to sources and brushing our teeth as we aren’t exactly the sit on the porch with a newspaper and coffee type, though, we do like to be informed. This has caused weekly newsmagazines to lose half of their readers in the past 20 years and begin to charge for digital service of reading your local paper online, Adweek explains.
Playboy has caught on to us- we’re smart, on to the latest trends, digitally current and readily reading online and they’re tailoring their image to become relevant to us. That says something about our generation, Millienals, we’re changing the game.
Source 1: https://www.biography.com/people/hugh-hefner-9333521#the-golden-age-of-playboy
Source 2: https://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2014/03/07/millennials-in-adulthood/
Source 3: https://digiday.com/publishers/traditional-publishers-millennials/
Source 4: https://www.adweek.com/news/press/cond-nast-finds-magazine-readership-growing-among-millennials-140850

Xoxo

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