As an adult, I’d lost the artistic soul of my youth. Could a 12-week art challenge help me reclaim it?

Boat on the water
Boat on the water
An illustration by the author.

My artistic career started five months ago.

One frosty November 2020 morning, I challenged myself to a 12-week plan to awaken the artist within. The 12 weeks came out of nowhere as I needed a deadline. As a 35-something mom of a young child, I thought it must be too late for me to start a new hobby. Especially a creative one. But then I thought — what do I have to lose, really? Apart from sleep. Which is overrated.

I promised myself to create something every single day: be it a drawing, a sketch, a painting, or a journal…


Or how every book is a source of valuable information.

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I cannot remember how this stowaway book by John Williams (2010) ended up at my house. I had no intention of reading it until I remembered one thing.

There is always something we can learn from one another. And a book is a window into another person’s universe. If we peek into it by swiftly scanning through the pages — we might unearth something of value. Even one phrase, one sentence that resonates with us, is enough to make any book worthwhile.

So here are the five useful reminders I have stumbled upon while flicking through the book.

1. Admit your dreams to yourself

“As long…


Or, what to do if motivation fairy is on leave.

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There are days when you don’t feel like doing anything. Whether the weather itself is conspiring against you, or it’s Friday, and the call of Netflix is louder than Jumanji drums. Whatever it is — it happens to the best of our kind.

I wish we could call it a day, jump on a sofa, hug that cuddly rug, and simply be. But something evil called ‘responsibility’ is always breathing down our necks. And we cannot escape its embraces even on ‘I-cannot-be-bothered-to-do-anything’ days.

So what can we do? Well, my friend, I have a few tips for you. …


And treat every life event as an opportunity.

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Our life starts every morning.

Every morning we have a rare and unprecedented opportunity to take chances, go after our dreams or experience something new.

But how do we ensure we don’t live our lives on autopilot just going through the motions?

Well, I believe that’s exactly why we exist — to fight the inertia and gravitational pull of the everyday automatic actions.

So, what do we need to do to disable our autopilot?

Befriend your inner child

I’m like the luckiest girl in the world. I’ve gotten to be a princess, I’ve gotten to work with the Muppets. A lot of my childhood…


Feel instantly rejuvenated and ready to rock-and-roll.

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We all have days when we are so low on energy that we cannot do anything productive. Unless we are physically unwell, internal or external factors could cause low energy levels. We could be tired and fed up after a fight with a loved one. We could be fatigued by dealing with disobedient children. Or we could have exhausted our patience with demanding clients.

Whatever the reasons, we need to get back to our ‘happy place’. Otherwise, low energy might bring its best friends called tiredness, negativity and apathy. We don’t want to see those lovely faces, do we? …


My go-to relaxing techniques that really work.

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I am a mum, and the primary cause of my stress and anxiety has the cherub-like features of a toddler. She’s very good at testing me. If I didn’t know that she’s not even two years old, I would have thought she’d spent decades mastering her craft.

But toddlers are not the only ones with a superpower to shatter our serene existence. There are unreasonable bosses, demanding clients, tight deadlines, and melted ice cream.

So whatever is throwing your life out of a peaceful float, these simple tips should do the trick.

1. Breathe in and out

Have you ever noticed that when the anxiety…


How to stop treating your writing like a priceless jewel.

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I love the Medium platform. Its articles are like an assorted chocolate box where you never know what flavor you might get.

And I would like to be part of this writing community, bringing readers my unique knowledge and expertise. But ‘the IKEA effect’ is holding me back.

Psychologists use this well-known brand to describe a particular attachment to things we create or assemble ourselves. If we attempt — and succeed — to put something together, we cherish it as if it’s priceless.

The more effort people put into some pursuit, the more they come to value it. — M…


And how I am test driving fresh ways to channel my emotions.

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What do you do when you are feeling angry?

I do nothing. Literally. I pretend that everything is fine, that I am not feeling anything. I tell myself that I am fine.

But I am fuming inside.

I am so fed up with bottling up my feelings.

Whenever I feel upset, angry or anything else — I close up, I sit there almost shaking with whatever feelings I am suppressing, but I won’t do anything with or about it.

All the pent-up emotions — anger, sadness, etc. — it’s pure fuel that could encourage me to create or produce something…


And why I achieve more than I thought I was capable of.

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Having children is a blessing and, let’s be honest — a chore.

Your time does not belong to you anymore. You lose your identity, at least for a while. You always need to put that tiny creature’s needs first because, well, that creature is incapable of looking after itself. For another 18 years at least.

Before I had my daughter, I thought I knew what it meant to be busy. But boy, how wrong I was. My pre-motherhood business could be classed as a holiday.

I thought my work didn’t allow me to have a proper sleep with all the…


Grab a notebook and join me on this journey.

Photo by Rosie Kerr on Unsplash

Gratitude Journal is a very popular self-reflection practice tool. It has myriads of health benefits backed up by science. By writing what you are grateful for, you stop the negative thought process in its tracks. And allow for a more positive way of thinking to emerge and take hold of your mind.

You could practice it before going to bed to slow down the swarms of ideas. Or you could start your day by noting a few things you are thankful for.

But how about creating a gratitude journal dedicated solely to writing?

It could be there to remind us…

Vic Bowling

Psychology graduate, storyteller, dreamer and pathfinder. On a journey to rediscover my writing voice.

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