October Mood: Ghoulish

Cover Image by American Ghoul

The fall months are when I feel most alive. To say that feels ironic as my corner of the world descends into a misty hibernation, replete with sepia-colored leaves and graying skies. Everything is turning inward as the veil between day and night becomes thinner and thinner, but I can’t help but feel this October season is an opportunity to discover new things about ourselves. We’re out of the warmth of summer, when we can brush aside duties in the pursuit of rest, and far enough past the beginning of the school year to have settled into a routine. Fall is our opportunity to confront ourselves in the most sedate of states to determine where to go next. Inward, it seems, is the answer I turn to most.

Now, why have I labeled this post as “ghoulish”? A ghoul is defined as an undead creature which torments the living with its flesh-eating and haunting. It comes from the Arabic word “ghul”, meaning “to seize”, but it has been expanded to include anyone who loves the macabre, dark, unseemly side of life. They are terrifying in tales of blood and night, but I think there’s something to be said for letting the ghoul out when need be. In modern terms, a ghoul can be defined as someone who stands beyond the boundaries of our normal lives. A ghoul is a little bit weird, a little dark, and a whole lot of unafraid. They straddle the line between acceptable and unacceptable in a way that is – dare I say – inspiring.

Therefore, this month’s mood is dedicated to the ghoulish tendencies in us all. Here’s to many days spent exploring the parts of ourselves that are bizarre, and to never giving into the temptation to be perfect. Enjoy!

 

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Marco Melgrati
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Outfit: Along The Tracks - A Clothes Horse
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September Mood: Creativity = Freedom

Hello my friends! It has been a shamefully long time since my last post, but I am back with some lovely images which I hope will garner me some forgiveness.

Life, while exciting and full of opportunities to grow and learn, is a doozy. I have been engaged in quite a few projects that I can not wait to share here! In the meantime, I’ll be back to my regular schedule of writing about how I take care of myself as a creator, what creating means to me, and how to stay well as you find inspiration in the world around you.

Today’s mood is inspired by the freeing nature of creation. In stretching our minds, bodies, and egos we are able (if we’re lucky) to extricate ourselves from the monotony of daily life – yes – BUT we also learn how to free ourselves from that which would keep us afraid. I was terrified of beginning my novel, this blog, my videos, and other endeavors. Yet, after taking those first tentative steps, I found that nothing bad came out of the trying. I didn’t die. No one who matters laughed at me, and I lost far less sleep than I thought I would. Creativity is the way our souls expand. It’s how we arrive at a higher understanding of what really matters: the exchange of goodness. I don’t think you have to be particularly good at one thing to deem yourself a creative spirit; you just have to try.

So, in honor of the freedom which accompanies creativity I have made a photo series of some pieces of art that have me excited for the coming season. As the weather cools and we begin to turn inward this is a wonderful time to look beyond our limitations. Enjoy!

 

passaxpassa: Then You Lost Me, 2013 source: Njideka Akunyili
Njideka Akunyili Crosby

 

Anya Ziourova

 

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autumn, candle, and fall image
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Iris van Herpen
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Serenity Illustration Series on Behance #dandelionillustration #womanillustration #vectorillustration #elegantillustration #minimalist #poc #blackwoman
Adrianne Walujo
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Illustration by Miranda Sofroniou
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For more inspiration please follow me on Pinterest at pinterest.com/lakasemarie/

 

June Mood: Sunny Disposition

As a child, I used to look at summer as a break from my daily responsibilities. It was when I could be free to come and go as I pleased, eat ice cream handed out by people who probably shouldn’t have been allowed to operate ice cream trucks, and escape reality into movies and books. I have been, and always will be, a warm weather child looking for the safest place to nap under a tree. I’m still channeling that kid who ran around in a swimming suit most days, but now the freedom I’m chasing is a bit more intentional and focused on a goal. That might sound counter-intuitive, as freedom is supposed to be all about eschewing plans, but as I really start to marinate in my 30’s I have discovered the joys of acting with intention in all things.

For some of us, freedom is frightening. For me, it’s a recipe for disaster. Without a goal, a journey, a prize, I start to flounder, and inevitably become upset with myself. For a long time I was aimless, and as a result, truly joyless. I didn’t see a point to most things and my primary concern was instant gratification wherever I could get it. I’m only now realizing how trauma, and the fear it instilled in me at a young age, has hindered me from being able to do things with not only intention, but confidence.

Every day is an opportunity to grow, if we’re lucky. So, I’m looking at summer as a continuation of the work and growth, not a break from it all. And you know what? It’s been a joy.

Now, on to the only two things for this month’s moody post. First, a beautiful piece of art that is a reminder I need to see every day. This piece is by Tyler Feder of the Roaring Softly shop on Etsy.

Anxious Girls are Brave Print Hand-Illustrated by roaringsoftly

Last, but never least, is a great video by The School of Life on “How to Overcome Trauma”. I post their videos so much (I know), because I love the clarity of their advice. It’s been a helpful tool for me as I continue to move with intention through my days and goals. This particular video arrived literally right on time for me and I hope you feel the same after watching. You can read their blog post with the video’s transcript, and other related content, {here}. Enjoy!

 

May Moods: Shameless Beauty

Sigh. It’s beach season, which means it’s right about time to be inundated with ads trying to subtly encourage us to starve ourselves, remove hair from every nook and cranny, and try to conform to very rigid standards of acceptable beauty. Sure, modern advertisements aren’t as overt with the messaging as they were in the past, and they’ve even adopted a code of body positivity, but the messaging remains the same: you’re not yet good enough as you are.

The parameters for beauty are arbitrary at best, dumb as hell at worst, and dangerous as all get out. When I was a young girl, I used to spend the morning and evening staring at my face and body, wishing I could change just about everything. I did crunches until my ribs hurt, pinched my nose to see how it would look straight and slim, and prayed I would grow to look like Aaliyah (which obviously never happened). I used to overhear my mother lamenting her looks, spent playtime with friends dissecting our features, and was very often told I looked like a boy – the worst thing a girl could hear in those days. All of these moments hinge on the unhealthy obsession with beauty we’re preached about from cradle to grave. Without beauty – the right kind of beauty – a woman has nothing.

Or so we were told.

What if we started seeing ourselves as works of art? And who would stop us if we adorned and honored ourselves for every crooked bend, lump, freckle, inconsistency and bit of cosmic weird? I’ve felt left down by the overwhelming symmetry and whiteness of the body positivity movement, where it seems the closer you are to the standard, the higher the likelihood of your acceptance. Being prettily different is the name of that game, and it just doesn’t work for me. I would rather hold onto the ways we make ourselves feel beautiful and how we present our unique magic to the world – perceived “ugliness” included.

This May I’m investigating what it means to be delicate and how it feels to be truly loved by the most important person in the room: myself. Through storm and cellulite, over mountains and across rivers of stretch marks, I am discovering the mysticism contained in my defiant reflection.

Beach season be damned.

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Shameless Maya
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Erato
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Stunning Adventure and Outdoor Photography by Jacob Nordin #photography #adventure #outdoor #landscape #travel
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Miyuwada
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Illustration & Design
Cynthia Kittler
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I’m so into these Miss Moti comics by body-positive artist Kripa Joshi, I can’t stop posting them.
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EPIC!!!!
Bill Steber

My January Mood Board Is All About Possibilities

WE MADE IT!!

victory celebrate GIF by Awkwafina

We lived through another year, another month, another week, another day, and for that I am so happy. Today’s post is a mood board, yes, but it is also a visual representation of my resolutions for the new year. Instead of trying a new diet or promising myself I’m going to read 100 books – good things to do, but unrealistic for a spaz like myself – I’m going in a new direction.  In the past I’ve set goals that were cruel and cold: lose weight even if it hurts you, be the best, make x amount of money, and other things that I have no desire to try ever again.

Things are going to be different moving forward. The name of the game for me is joy. Shameless, radical, unbridled joy. Joy isn’t permanent, but I’m striving to be joyful in addition to the range of emotions I feel each day. I know this is incredibly broad, but to do this I’m remaining committed to listening to what I need, honoring my dislikes as well as my likes, and being a cheerleader for myself rather than a bully. Therefore, I want to kick-start the year with some images that are really making me smile.

Without further ado: the mood board! Happy new year my friends! Feel free to share your own resolutions below.

 

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🌙“”It means," said Aslan, "that though the Witch knew the Deep Magic, there is a magic deeper still which she did not know. Her knowledge goes back only to the dawn of Time. But if she could have looked a little further back, into the stillness and the darkness before Time dawned, she would have read there a different incantation.” • CS Lewis ☕️✨🎨 Here is the cover design for my zine that I finished yesterday, and the official title, “There is a Magic Deeper Still” 💙 It went through some hard
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Trina Schart Hyman «The Sleeping Beauty»
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@liskindoll
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Taking photos on the Glacier Express through Switzerland
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ғᴀᴇʀɪᴇ ᴄʜɪᴄ

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Bathroom background
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