Seriously though, 90’s references aside, I have discovered that I have a habit of making signs. In an effort to boost my confidence and happiness, starting in 2013, I hung up self made signs of inspiration and encouragement in places I would see them daily around our apartment.
The first was a little poster above the couch in our living room. Reminding me to Dream Big.
I used a photograph I had taken with my Holga and put the words: DREAM BIG across it and had it printed.
It reminds me that no matter how impossible something may seem, to always dream big–and aim to live bigger than your wildest dreams!!
Seeing it when I’m feeling a bit down on myself or after a long hard day at the day job, I felt uplifted and determined to keep working hard towards my goals and to have the courage to continue pursuing my dreams.
Another sign similar to this one is on our bathroom mirror, so I will see it every morning when I get ready. I, like many women, suffer from low self esteem and poor body image. To help keep me thinking positive and remind myself that no matter what I am still hot stuff. I made a second sign using another Holga photograph that says “HELLO SEXY.”
It’s just that little pick me up that I need when I start pulling myself apart in the mirror. I need to learn to love myself, stretch marks, zits, wrinkles, bad hair days, muffin top and all!! Love yourself inside and out!
Most recently while working through The Happiness Project I came to a passage where Gretchen Rubin starts talking about her personal commandments. The first of which is “Be Gretchen.”
How simple! In a time when I feel like I’m losing control of my life and losing my identity and sense of self, what better message than simply to “Be Mary?” I read that passage, bookmarked the page and ran into my craft room. I dug around for a poster I had made for a craft show and turned it over, chopped off one edge to make it a square and got out my paints, crayons and glitter.
I squirted a pile of red paint in the center of the poster board and, using my fingers and hands, painted a big red heart in the center. I picked out the brightest yellow crayons and colored the entire outside a bright Sunshine-y hue, scribbling and coloring feverishly. I drew hearts and flowers around the edges. I added a paper bat. I drew with pink paint “BE MARY!” across the heart and then covered it in gold glitter. Not caring if I stayed within the lines. The result is impactful, and my inner child smiles proudly every time I look at it. I hung it up just this week across from our bed so I see it every morning when I wake up and every night before I go to sleep: BE MARY!!
I’m fairly certain Gretchen had no intention of inspiring a literal representation of her commandment, or much less that I would adopt one similar for myself, but no matter. I take what I will from the book and use it however I find it most helpful to me.
I’m halfway through the book now, and still plucking out gems of wisdom and inspiration here and there.
What do you do to help cheer yourself up? Any little habits you’ve adopted to give you that burst of inspiration or self esteem for the day? I’d love to hear about them!
If you would like your own daily dose of inspiration poster, I’ve recreated a few of the posters I made for myself you can pick up one HERE.