ENDURING MUSINGS: Selfie Journal Challenge!

It’s been a while since I did a journal challenge and I came up with this one while cruising Instagram one day.

The concept of the selfie is pretty simple, take a picture of yourself anywhere, any time and any place! Of course, those who take selfies are often deemed “insecure”, “vain” and “shallow.”

The Hubby often asks me why I take so many selfies and when he does, I just smile and say that I like capturing my life through pictures. Normally when I take a selfie, I have a caption attached because I do believe that there is a reason behind every photo.

And that was the inspiration behind this challenge. To take the superficial stigma out of the selfie and give our selfies some purpose. So for the next 30 days, starting November 1st, I would like for you to join me in the Selfie Journal Challenge:


The Challenge: For the next 30 days, take a selfie based on the prompts and reflect on the prompts based on the emotions, thoughts and feelings captured in the photos.

The Goal: To embrace yourselfie :) HAHA! All jokes aside, the goal of this challenge is to enhance your sense of self from the inside out.

You can document this challenge as you like, post your pictures on Instagram and share your reflection in a caption or print out your pictures, post them in your journal and reflect on paper. The possibilities are truly up to you and your creativity.

Are you ready for the prompts? Here we go:

  1. Rise and Shine Selfie- What were your first thoughts this morning?
  2. Currently…Selfie- Reflect on your current mood. 
  3. Mobile Selfie (DON’T TEXT AND DRIVE)- Where have traveled today? Where would you like to travel to one day? 
  4. Smiling Selfie- What makes you genuinely smile? 
  5. Workplace Selfie- Do you enjoy your job? What do you like about your job? What do you dislike? Why?
  6. Daytime Selfie- Reflect on a day in the life of YOU!
  7. Profile Selfie- What facial feature did you dislike as a child but love now as an adult? 
  8. Mirror Selfie- If there were two of you, what would you do? 
  9. Shared Selfie aka “Usie”- Reflect on your relationship with the person in the shared photo. 
  10. Natural Selfie- List 6 things that you love about yourself and detail why you love these things. 
  11. Sleepy Selfie- Reflect on a recent dream you had.
  12. Soulful Selfie- Detail what thrives in your soul.
  13. Black and White Selfie- How do you keep yourself balanced? 
  14. Inspired Selfie- What inspires you? 
  15. Nightlife Selfie- Describe a typical night for you. 
  16. Message Selfie- Define love in your own words.
  17. Talent Selfie- How did you discover your talent(s)?
  18. Home Life Selfie- What’s your home life like? 
  19. Progress Selfie- Reflect on where you are in your life at this moment.
  20. Childlike Selfie- What do you miss the most about being a kid? 
  21. Currently…Selfie- Currently thinking about….
  22. Late Night Selfie- What keeps you up at the night? 
  23. Joyful Selfie- List 10 things that bring you joy! 
  24. Relaxation Selfie- What is the ultimate relaxation for you? 
  25. Peace Selfie- Reflect on what brings you peace and what peace means to you? 
  26. Foodie Selfie- If you could live off of one food, what would it be? 
  27. Thankful Selfie- Make a list of things you are most thankful for.
  28. Celebration Selfie- How do you celebrate life?
  29. That Unapologetic Selfie- What will you never apologize for when it comes to being you? 
  30. New Beginning Selfie-  Set three goals for yourself for the next month!

I hope that you join me on this challenge. Feel free to share your entries with me on Instagram or on The Enduring Optimist Facebook page! You can also join my new Facebook Group The Optimist Lounge which I dedicate to all my journal and creative productivity lovers!

Are you ready to join me on this challenge? Lets give our selfies some purpose for November!

Until next time, stay blessed and unique!




ENDURING LIFE: Make It Work! Fitting Journaling Into Your Already Busy Life.

You have a 9 to 5.

You have a family, a social life and sometimes you like to binge watch episodes of 30 Rock (what? I know I’m not the only one.)

Yes, your life is hectic so when exactly do you have time to journal?

Okay, I’ll be honest- you don’t have time but you should sure as hell make some time.

Why? Because aside from all the benefits I discuss in my book, journaling does wonders for our minds and creativity as a whole. Journaling can also boost our productivity too.

Are you still doubting me? Okay, let share some on the spot journaling ideas with you.

Waiting at the doctor’s office? Cool take out your journal and face a demon or two. Worried about your visit? Hash it out with your inner voice and get to the root cause of your worry.

From my current journal
A peek into my current journal. Here I’m talking about some of my most important talents. 

Stuck in stand still traffic? Draft your to-do list for the rest of the day and list all the things that you want to accomplish for the rest of the week.

In my eyes, to-do lists, especially daily ones are indeed journal entries to me. I track my progress for the idea, note new ideas and reflect on my daily goals.
In my eyes, to-do lists, especially daily ones are indeed journal entries to me. I track my progress for the idea, note new ideas and reflect on my daily goals.

Kids’ dance class running late? Take 15 minutes to yourself and dream with your eyes open. Reflect on a business plan, blog or story idea.

I write a lot of fiction and I need a journal to keep all my characters and story ideas in tact.
I write a lot of fiction and I need a journal to keep all my characters and story ideas in tact.

Get inspired while grocery shopping. Snap a photo of the latest produce arrivals and create a cool new recipe or create your meal plan before you head out the door.

My family meal plans start in a special journal and then I transfer to my family planner so I can create my grocery list and tote my planner with on my shopping trip.
My family meal plans start in a special journal and then I transfer to my family planner so I can create my grocery list and tote my planner with on my shopping trip.

Take coffee break and think “out loud.” Reflect on your future and start planning your legacy.

Via a journal challenge I hosted a few years back. Affirmations have become a big part of my journaling process.
Via a journal challenge I hosted a few years back. Affirmations have become a big part of my journaling process.

Truth is, our lives our busy but we should never be so busy that we cannot make time for ourselves. Taking just 15 minutes a day or as often as possible to unleash words, ideas, dreams and thoughts grants us a moment of peace and helps us clear our heads for clarity.

How will you fit in journaling in your day? How do you squeeze in a journal session or two in your busy day? Share your thoughts and ideas below.

Also, my book, The Optimist’s Guide to Journaling is now available for pre-order! And when you pre-order, you get a free Greenroom notebook to jump start your journaling adventure. To order your copy of my first book, click here.

Until next time, stay blessed and unique!



ENDURING LIFE: WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN AND WHY? The Optimist’s Guide To Journaling!

With less than a month left before the release of my book, The Optimist’s Guide to Journaling, I have been asked a few times, what has been the inspiration behind my first book? To me, this is something of a loaded question and I have never been able to express it verbally, until now…sort of.

I thought it would be easier to break down the details about my book in a WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN and WHY format:

What inspired this book? 

Well, I am an avid “journalist” and I have been one since I was a little girl. I love the art of journaling and I believe in its power. I’ve also read a few books on journaling and I felt that some lacked a personal touch. So when I started brainstorming my book, I knew I wanted to add some of my insight in it, in hopes to inspire others and share my lessons through journaling.

One of my many brainstorming days for the guide.
One of my many brainstorming days for the guide.


Who is this book for? 

My book is for anyone who is new to journaling. From the outside looking in, journaling can appear somewhat intimidating, especially when you have no idea where to start. I wanted to created a guide that was easy to navigate and fun to try. This guide is also for anyone seeking to take their journal writing to the next level. I was strictly a free write journal writer until I learned about various types of journaling. Free writing allows us to purge all our thoughts; however; types of journaling like prompt based and art journaling allows us to think outside of the box. And finally, this book is for those who are looking to understand just how important journaling can be to our personal development.

I brainstormed during the day and did much of writing of the guide at night.
I brainstormed during the day and did much of writing of the guide at night.


Where did the initial concept of the book come from? 

Believe it or not, the idea came from a journal post. While writing in my list journal, I listed some projects that I wanted to do and launch for the rest of this year and THIS guide popped into my head. I immediately went to work, brainstorming how I would go about writing this guide and what I would include in it.

Journaling and brainstorming at the same time!
Journaling and brainstorming at the same time!


When did you decide to write this book? 

Honestly? A while ago. 6 months to be exact- maybe more. My initial outline for the book was done months ago but my own fears got in the way. I was so fearful of what people would think about this book and I feared rejection. But thanks to some great friends/mentors and a special one on one session with an inspirational individual, I decided to sit down and make some serious goals for this book!

Writing and setting my SMART goals for my book.
Writing and setting my SMART goals for my book.


Why is this book different from other books about journaling? 

What I love about this book is the fact that this book is personal, informative, interactive and fun! What I loved about writing this book was this book became something of a journal for me too. I was able to share some of my breakthroughs through journaling and I created a fun quiz to help you uncover your journaling style and there’s a mini workbook filled with prompts and writing pages.

I mean, what’s a guide about journaling without prompts and space to journal?


I believe in the power of journaling. The benefits aid in our personal growth and help us document our lives. I have heard so many reasons why people journal and they are inspiring. Some do it to de-stress, others journaling to share their legacies and no matter why you journal, just know that there is a purpose in your words.

My book, The Optimist’s Guide to Journaling is coming out November 10th, 2014!

Are you an avid “journalist” or a novice one? Share your journal experience with me online here on my blog or on Twitter (@EndureOptimist) and Instagram (@the_enduringoptimist)

Until next time, stay blessed and unique!






ENDURING MUSINGS: Count Your Blessings with a Gratitude Journal

Okay, I admit it…Life is HARD!

The older we get, the more responsibilities we accumulate and the more complaints we have about all the elements of our life. Here’s a question?

How can we counter those complaints and negative thoughts?

EASY! Journaling!!

One of the easiest and best ways to reduce our negative thinking and speaking is through the art of journaling. The best journal to aid in more positive thinking is a gratitude journal.

Photo via Google

The sole purpose of a gratitude journal is for us to reflect on the joys in every day. Gratitude journals allow us to count and celebrate our blessings no matter how great or small they are.

Photo via Google

What I love about gratitude journal writing is the convenience and flexibility. You can reflect on your blessings throughout the day or at the end of the day. I like to jot down some of my blessings during my day while at work (it helps me keep calm during a busy day) and I like to reflect on my list and add to it at the end of the day as well.

Nightly reflection on the things you noted you were thankful for during day can surely help you drift off to sleep with ease.

Photo via Google

If you’re new to journaling in general, a gratitude journal is a great icebreaker. All you need is a notebook, pen and your every day life.

Photo via Google

And for my more advanced fellow journalists seeking a challenge, gratitude journal prompts offer themes for our daily blessings and allow us to reflect solely one topic.

If you have yet to try your hand at a gratitude journal,  keep one for 30 days. Be sure to date your entries and at the end of the month, reflect back on your last 30 days, re-read your lists and even highlight your best days and you’re not so best days.

Ready for a serious challenge? Try a 365 day gratitude journal. Grab a planner or create your own filofax for this journal (Pinterest has some great ideas by the way!) and keep track of what you’re thankful for.

An extra note: Gratitude journals are great for kids too. Not only does it teach appreciation, the journal sessions also boost creative thinking and enrichment for kids. So make it a family activity and grow together.

Have you tried gratitude journals? Are you currently keeping one? Share your thoughts and questions about gratitude journals and journaling in general below.

Until next time, stay blessed and creative!



ENDURING MUSINGS: Sneak Peek- A Sample Chapter of My Book!

Happy Friday, Optimists!

So the countdown has officially begun until the release of my book, The Optimist’s Guide to Journaling!

I have been working on promoting the book and getting the word out there but of course, I gotta share something special with all you wonderful readers, right?


In honor of the upcoming release of my book and as a special thank you to all you wonderful readers, I am sharing a sample chapter exclusively with YOU!

Here it is, the sample chapter of my book, The Optimist’s Guide to Journaling.

Please let me know me know what you thing and feel free to share and retweet it.



Click HERE to read the sample chapter of my new book!


I have to thank everyone who has stopped by my blog, commented and liked my posts, it really means the world to me. Your support is what made me want to finish this book and share it with the world.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Until next time, stay blessed and unique!




ENDURING MUSINGS: All About Art Journals



In my book, I highlight various types of journal writing. Journaling itself is a creative art form and one of my favorite types of journaling is art journaling.

Like standard journaling, art journaling is expressive and innovative. You can document your life’s journey through images, collages and doodles.

Trust me when I say that art journaling is fun and a real stress reliever plus you don’t have to be world renown artist to create works of art.

The Anatomy of an Art Journal

Definition: An art journal is a creative collection of one’s interpretation pf journal prompts through the use of different mediums including but not limited to: paint, markers, colored pens and pencils, glues and magazine clippings.

Anatomy of an art journal
*Photo via Google

Have you tried your hand at art journaling? If not, grab a sketch book this week and try some of these creative prompts:

  • Create a self-portrait of yourself using magazine clippings
  • Doodle until you fill an entire page
  • Grab a piece of junk mail and make it the background for your next journal page
  • Create a page that defines what beauty means to you
  • Draw your five favorite things
  • Create thought bubbles and fill them with all the things you are thinking about

Share your art journaling with me on Instagram (@the_enduringoptimist) using the hashtag #artjournalingoptimist

Until next time, stay blessed, productive and positive!





Dear Creatives,

It’s okay to fail.

In fact, it’s okay to fail over and over again. Why? Because you’ll learn, you’ll grow and that fire will be reignite itself.

As creatives, we are sensitive about our craft and when our craft fails us, we feel like we have failed our craft and that we lack what it takes to succeed.

Believe me when I say that it is not the end of the world…In fact, it’s the beginning of progress

In last three or four years, I have tried to launch a handful of businesses. I have tried my hand at event planning, jewelry making, even blogging (on a different site). I thought that these were the things that I wanted to do but after trying my hand at these different things, I failed. Despite the fact that I was featured on a morning TV show and sold my wares at a shop in New York…

I failed.

Somehow I lost my way while running these business, I made numerous mistakes from lack of marketing, lack of passion and lack of understand exactly what “break even” means. Before I knew it, I had a handful of Facebook fan pages and I could practically hear people groaning with every invite I sent to “LIKE” this page and that page.

And with these failures came lessons about life, focus and business. I discovered my strengths and weaknesses.

Even with the launch of my first book coming in next month, there were several attempts before this to try my hand at writing a book. I have binders and folders filled with stories, ideas and concepts; I still keep a journal with potential story ideas…just in case.

How many times have you heard that with success comes failure? Last night, I found a form from the band director at my daughter’s school. The form stated that my daughter showed high proficiency with the clarinet. Unfortunately, we missed the day for her to sign up and when I asked her why she didn’t tell my husband and I about the opportunity, she said…

“I was scared it would be too hard…”

Needless to say, my heart hurt because my daughter feared failure. I sat her down and we talked about failure. I explained to her that we need failure, without it, how can we learn? How can we grow beyond our experiences if we do not experience more? Most of time, when we fail a test, aren’t the answers provided?

Coincidence? I think not.

Failure is necessary to achieve greatness. We can learn more from the downs than we can the ups and those lessons can be passed on to others.

So creatives, go on and take those leaps of faith. If we fall, get up, take notes and try it again.

It’s worth it.

I dedicate this post to my 1st leap of faith... my lil muse! She's one of the many reasons why I do what I do and she's the reason I have embraced my creativity!
I dedicate this post to my 1st leap of faith… my lil muse! She’s one of the many reasons why I do what I do and she’s the reason I have embraced my creativity from the inside out! I love you, J! 














Until next time, stay blessed and unique!



Creating, inspiring and motivating one positive post at a time. New posts EVERY Wednesday and Friday!


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,581 other followers