illustrated moment

making sense with words and pictures


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A sweet reunion!

immmmm

My beautiful people! Can you believe it has already been an entire week since I have posted? Me, neither!

Well, I have been very busy getting excited about illustrated moment and illustrated health (the family just keeps growing) – I have been working on new videos, new posts, and a new header image for this blog. You see, I design my own and usually I have my dorky illustrations but one day I got lazy and decided colourful circles would be enough – now I am embarrassed and ready to remove the shame!

The new video has just been uploaded to the YouTube channel and I have also placed it at the bottom of this post for your entertainment! I would really, really, really appreciate it if you check it out – this is a project I’ve been working on for a while and rolling it out finally is making me a little nervous. Thank you so much in advance!

Oh, I want to warn you all about something – if you have clicked the follow button or subscribed with your email address to this little blog of mine, I will be getting in touch with you shortly – I know that sounds really creepy (accept my apologies), but I have previously written about my desire to reach out to you because I draw so much encouragement from all of your comments and so much inspiration from your great blogs, and I think it’s time to say a proper hello! If you haven’t yet subscribed to illustrated moment but you want to get in on the action and be a part of the virtual group hug, which is about to happen (I sound crazy) – then fret not my friend! Just click the follow button at the top-right of this page!

Here’s the new video – I hope you have a wonderful day!

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I am nothing without my imagination

The World does not obey our concept of fairness. It does not care what happened to you in the past. It doesn’t care that you cried, you hurt, you lost. It doesn’t do handouts. It never has, and that’s what I’m here to remind you about today.

There was a time that I had fallen, I was wounded and weakened by the stumble I took on my journey. It sucked, truly. It was the worst thing I had experienced in my life. It made me feel nauseous and ill, and I hated The World because of it. I was broken because The World didn’t give me what I deserved, what I wanted, what I needed. It was all The World’s fault, and no matter what anyone said, that was my truth.

That moment, weakened by hatred and devastation, I was ready to give up – I was ready to call time on my past efforts, my journey so far, my hopes.

But that moment passed, and something clicked back in place.

The realisation that The World is not fair, it never has been is a seriously powerful one. Although it doesn’t care about your feelings and doesn’t hand out anything for free, The World will deliver if you work hard. If you don’t give up, if you push yourself beyond your made up limits, you will win. The World respects you when you punch it with your all.

It’s easier said than done – right? When you’re hurt, in tears, at a huge loss, it is not possible to find that motivation within you – right?

You would be correct, but only if you choose to ignore the most powerful tool you have in your existence. Your imagination.

Remember when you were a child and your imagination took you to places that seemed impossible to others? Remember the excitement it gave you, the drive it fired up? Go back to your imagination and embrace it!

I imagined the future I wanted. I saw myself overcoming the obstacles that tripped me up, I saw it with my mind’s eye. I witnessed my success before I got back up, and I felt my body and soul strengthen through that simple act. I couldn’t give up – never. Someone or something will have to force me to stop, because I am not a quitter. My imagination overcame the ‘impossible’ and gave me the power to pave my path through this World. The pain didn’t disappear instantly, I wasn’t filled with genuine cheer immediately – but I had something I lacked before, I had an insatiable drive to achieve what I could conjure up in my imagination. My new journey was even tougher, because I had to push to overcome the obstacles in front of me, but also myself. My new journey was even harder, but my imagination gave me a vision to set my targets on, I now had a direction to run in, I developed a determination I had never had the pleasure of knowing before my fall. With vision I am a hard-worker, effective, strong and self-motivated, but I am nothing without my imagination.


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4 lessons from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

In 1964, there lived a genius who went by the name of Roald Dahl. He published the wonderful book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and inspired the imaginations of all children and adults. Since it’s creation it has been transformed to films and musicals, but each of them preserve the utter magic of the story. There is nothing that compares to the affection you feel towards the very poor but grateful Charlie, who meets his eccentric idol, the great and marvellous Willy Wonka. We are taken on the rollercoaster journey through the mysterious factory and we all cheer when Charlie lands a prize bigger than any dream.

Willy Wonka is the most fabulous, eccentric and eerie character that has ever been conceived. It doesn’t matter if you prefer to read the book, the film or watch the spectacular musical in the heart of London – there are 4 very spectacular lessons we can all learn from the wonder-inspiring chocolatier. So put on your imaginary top hat and let’s go!

You never know when your luck might change

Sometimes life isn’t too good to you. Your hardworking parents may be made redundant and can only put cabbage soup on the dinner table. You may be so poor that a small bar of chocolate is a treat that you might receive annually for your birthday – if you’re lucky. Despite the limitations poverty placed upon Charlie, he remained a grateful child and he was appreciative of the love that surrounded him. He went on to win a Golden Ticket and then became the owner of the greatest chocolate factory in imaginative history!

What should Charlie’s story teach you? That you never know what’s waiting for you around the corner. You may be experiencing some unpleasant feelings or maybe your financial situation is causing you great stress, but always hold onto the feeling of hope. Hope is the most invincible thing in the world. It will carry you through the toughest times and push you through the hardest part of your life. Even if you find your world crumbling, it is the nagging thought that says “It will get better from here”. There’s nothing quite like it, and if you believe in its power, it will make you strive to better yourself and your situation so that those dreams and ambitions can become a reality. You never ever ever know when your luck might change, because there’s one certainty in this universe – the world keeps on turning so you better hold on to your hat!

Be humble and you will win

It’s a universal truth that no-one likes a brat. In his famous story, Roald Dahl makes that fact clearer than ever, with the joyous removal of spoilt children from each scene by the slightly creepy and sadistic Oompa Loompas. If you behave like a know-it-all, a show-off or an insolent human being, you will find yourself to be a very unpopular person. Your peers won’t respect you and inform you of opportunities to come. They will exclude you from their conversations and roll their eyes when you butt in. You don’t want that, do you?

Be strong and silent about your achievements. Of course, you are entitled to be proud of your hard work and subsequent success, but intentionally rubbing it in someone’s face will only cause tension. If you behave in a compassionate manner towards most people you encounter, you will find yourself making good friends and many opportunities for character development.

Believe in your imagination

One of the best parts of being human is the wonderful gift of our imagination. Just think of all the amazing things you can conceive in your mind! Some choose to write them down in books, some decide to paint what they envision, and some tell their stories to anyone willing to listen. Your imagination is a truly powerful thing. It gives you the ability to create a world to which you can escape. Just remember how exhilarated little Charlie was as he looked up at the mind-boggling machines and candy inventions the factory housed. Reignite your inner Charlie and believe in the improbable and ‘impossible’. Take some time to delve into your mind and explore your creative nature. You never know what wonders you may come up with!

Own your eccentricity

You are unique. There is no other being in this vast universe that can compare to you. Those quirks in your personality are in actual fact a treasure. No-one can replace you, so be proud of your character. Do not conform to become something you’re not – what’s the point? At the end of the day, you have endured the spectacular journey of your life and here you are standing taller, bolder and stronger for it. Be proud of your accomplishments so far and be inspired by your future aspirations. When you are full of such potential, you shouldn’t do anything else but to accept and own your eccentricity.


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Let’s begin with a reflection

There is nothing more daunting than reflection. To look inside yourself to reveal deep rooted anxieties and hidden truths about the life you have been leading. There’s nothing quite like it. It can be scary, nerve-racking, time-consuming, upsetting and isolating. Maybe the reason why we don’t make a habit of reflecting on our daily lives is simply because it’s often not a very pleasant experience. Looking back on everything you have done, said, and thought in the most honest way can makes us feel a little melancholic. I know, because that’s how I feel.

Our brains are built to remember and recall our past experiences so that we can make better decisions in the future. It is a wonderful machine, but unfortunately for us, in the pick-and-mix stand of Life our brains have a real craving for negative experiences. Sure enough, learning from our bad and tough moments is the key to our survival and a wiser future, but it can leave a sour taste in our mouths – particularly when we sit down and open our heads for an in-depth review.

Reflection can be overwhelming!

Reflection can be overwhelming!

Despite the unsettling feelings it might thrust in our faces, reflection gives us the opportunity to clear our minds and start afresh. So here I am, having spent some quality time scrutinising my life and deciding to start a blog!

I’m kind of young-ish, approaching the mid-twenty mark, still at university, doing a course I enjoy and living quite comfortably for a student. I like to dabble in different hobbies, pick them up with great enthusiasm, but sadly I tend to leave them after a while, to gather dust in the abandoned corners of my world. I’m not fickle – at least I hope I’m not – it’s just that whilst doing the new-found wonderful hobby, I realise that if I want to become any good at it or see anything great come from it, I must invest decent amount of time and energy into the project. Time is something I don’t really have the luxury of. Neither do you, I bet. We all have jobs, projects, schools, assignments and other intense commitments which demand pretty much all the time we do have! So we slowly give in, they win the battle and make us their slaves. I know that all those things are crucial for our lives to progress happily and in a forward direction, but I started feeling a little…burnt out. I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but somewhere along the line I started losing the desire to motivate myself. I started getting bored and no longer imagining the life I could have in the future. It sounds more dramatic in writing, but without realising it I just went into autopilot.

In autopilot you do the tasks you must, out of habit and necessity, and just get on with it. You push the right buttons and efficiently run the errands. You get your money, pay your bills, tick the boxes and fit in a bit of food and sleep. You might not realise you’re running on autopilot until you sit down to chat with your long-time-no-see friend and when he or she asks:

“Tell me, what exciting things have been happening in your life?”

Your mind goes blank. You smile and respond with:

“Oh nothing, I’ve been busy with work.”

We’ve all done it, and at times still do it. Sometimes the priorities in life don’t really give us the time to fit in mini-adventures to brag about over tea and coffee. But I feel that a hobby or some activity that is unique to you, giving you the chance to devote an allocated time for your own desires can do you a whole world of good!

When you have a hobby, you are automatically more passionate. It’s one of the easiest ways to inject a spring in your step and a glow to your face! You will have a new topic to discuss with people – whether they want to listen to you go on and on and on is up to them and how fast they can run. You get your drive back to complete tasks with purpose and a smile. You see your life differently, becoming more optimistic and much more interactive. And it all boils down to one thing: your imagination. If you are using it, you are immune to that fateful term “burn out”.

Like I said before, I am lucky enough to be on a course which I really enjoy. Although, learning new things every single day should be keeping me motivated and excited – when you have the burden of future exams weighing heavy on your mind, it can all seem very uninspiring. But exams are things I must do, and I must do them well – so I set off to discover a new source of inspiration, and I was very surprised where I eventually found it!

If there was one thing I have always enjoyed doing, it would have to be drawing. I never pretended to be the bee’s knees about it, but I really did like creating pictures and using them to tell stories. Sometimes the tales I told were based on the truth, and sometimes they were taller than the tallest building in the world! But I fondly remember spending hours lost in my imagination and keeping a record of it with pencil and paper. So I decided to start this blog to illustrate life, in the hopes that it will inspire and motivate me. When I had the chance to reflect and open up my head for inspection, I found cogwheels turning, tired and squeaky. There was nothing glittery inside, nothing magical – because all those things were stuffed into a box with the words ‘not right now‘ on it.

Not right now…

…you don’t have time…

Well, when will I ever have time? If I want to do things that make me happy despite the busyness of life, I’m going to have dedicate some time to all my ideas and aspirations, and let them run around, dance about and attempt to finger-paint a mural on the wall!

I hope you also enjoy these illustrated moments!