Marisol Dahl

Creativity

Coming Home

Creativity, WritingMarisol DahlComment

It seems only fitting that my last post, before an unplanned 2-year hiatus, was about digital minimalism. I just turned 26, and I'm back to posting again (I think). 

That last blog post was published in haste—partially from a desire to get my thoughts out, as well as an eagerness to wrap up this one piece of lingering writing before a trip to Tulum a few days later. 

And ever since then life has sped up. The universe took control, and for the most part I learned that it was all so unpredictable, so serendipitous, and so crazy and wonderful in so many ways. I was suddenly convinced a new interpretation of my 2017 tarot spread was revealing itself. I had to sit back and let it unfold. And I am still emerging with completely new goals, dreams, worries, and plans.

I've been blogging on and off since 2011. And only now has guilt from inconsistent posting completely washed away. It's not that I haven't thought about my online space. It's that I simply didn't let it negatively pressure me.

Three Reasons It's Ok to Go Ghost (and what I've been doing instead)

  1. It honors your evolution. Our priorities change, and our expectations for ourselves and for our work should adapt and accommodate. Don't force an activity, no matter how habitual, that comes to feel more disruptive than additive.

    Of course, that's not to say writing, or more broadly "creation," wasn't a priority. A break from a typical medium of your creativity does not equate to total abandonment of your passion or interest. In the time I have been away, I have been able to dive into more editorial roles, writing book proposals, editing books, crafting website copy, communication strategy drafting, micro-journaling, and embracing the art of capturing fleeting thoughts with vague words in my iPhone notes app. I have also grown in my work roles elsewhere, and extended myself in the areas of health and relationships. I am proud of the work I have done, even if it may not all live in this digital space.

  2. It makes you appreciate what’s going on beyond. Whether that’s in your mind, in your personal life, or simply behind the scenes. Sometimes it’s nice to give that undivided attention to those private aspects of our lives—the sacred moments and the deep impact we are making in the ‘real’ world that we choose not to share so publicly.

    Writing, in any form, is a reflection of the self. What is written on the page is a reflection of the life we are living, so it's important to take time to live that life, to take in the day to day, and to come back to writing when it feels most supportive and complementary. Step away from the lens of content creation, fill your cup with experiences, and let your thoughts mature.

  3. It brings clarity to your why. There have been so many moments these past two years where I ached to get back to my online space. The ache was good. It meant I wasn't completely done, that I still wanted this blog to play a part. That old saying applies here (and I am groaning at the cliché): what is meant to be will come back.

What To Do When You're Second-Guessing Your Dream

Career, CreativityMarisol DahlComment

Take stock: We often stop enjoying things when there are toxic elements that are ruining it for us. Do the people you live/work with support you? Does your company culture help or keep you from doing great work? Sometimes it’s not your dream that’s the problem—it’s your environment.

Pivot: Sometimes you outgrow your dreams. As Jenny Blake notes in a recent Fast Company article, your plateau isn’t a problem, but a sign of success.*

For many, it's the experience of continually picking up new things and meeting fresh challenges that keeps us going, making the inevitable plateau of success uncomfortable. But that plateau isn't wrong or bad—it's not an indication that you've failed. It's a sign that you've succeeded, and now have to sort out what comes next.

Take a break: As Gala Darling so lovely puts it in When The Flame of Your Passion Starts to Flicker:

We’re taught to push push push, no matter what. The fear is real: ‘If I stop now, will I be forgotten in a week?!’ We think that doing nothing would be worse than burning out, and that only goes to show how desperate our addiction to “doing” is. (If you’re not constantly doing, then there’s time for… Gasp… THOUGHTS! Emotions! Dealing with your actual life! How terrible!)

*For more about this, read PIVOT: The Only Move That Matters Is Your Next One.

 

Three Alternatives to the Morning Routine

Health, CreativityMarisol DahlComment

Morning routines have contributed to the success of some of the greatest minds in history. A solid morning routine helps you direct your day for productive work and healthy living.

I’ve spectacularly failed at establishing a morning routine (not for want of trying). But through the eternal quest to structure the most optimal day, I’ve learned that the key is consistent daily action—at around the same time each day. These actions set the tone and rhythm of your day. They are a mental cue that you are in the moment and doing exactly what you’re supposed to be doing.  And they don’t need to happen in the morning.

Three Alternatives to the Morning Routine

A reading routine: Set aside the same periods of time each day to sneak in some reading. Some ideas: the first half-hour at the beginning or end of the day, your commute to or from work, your afternoon creative siesta.

An inspiration routine: Have a go-to sequence for getting yourself in the right mood and mindset for whatever’s ahead. If you’re visually inspired, take time to browse your favorite Tumblr, flip through magazines, find an artist you love to follow. If you’re verbally inspired, keep a collection of writing you love. If you’re aurally inspired, create go-to Spotify playlists.

A clean-up routine: A set time (or times) during the day for quick clean-up and organization. Take the first five minutes of your work day to organize your desk, or do a rapid-round of pick-up while dinner is cooking in the oven.

How to look forward to everyday

Intelligence, Happiness, Health, CreativityMarisol DahlComment

How to eat healthy: The simple rule of thumb from my osteopath: a plate that is half fruits and veggies, a quarter lean protein, and a quarter starches/complex carbohydrates.

How to read more books: Listen to audio books during your in-between times—in the shower, getting ready in the morning, riding the subway, on line at a store, making dinner.

How to look forward to everyday: Have a creative project that is all yours.